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Grateful Ardern makes last bow as New Zealand PM, denying quitting due to vitriol

WELLINGTON – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday she was grateful for her tenure, A sustained barrage of online harassment It wasn’t the reason for her shocking resignation.

The 42-year-old said last week she no longer had “enough for a tank” She comes through a tumultuous five years that have rocked the country through natural disasters, the worst terrorist attacks in history and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Her resignation less than three years after a major election victory has sparked a national debate about the violence facing female leaders, especially on social media.

Prime Minister-to-be Chris Hipkins said Ardern experienced “utterly abhorrent” abuse while leading the country.

But Ardern said he wouldn’t explain it that way.

When she visited a Maori settlement in Ratana on the North Island during her final official duties as prime minister, she said she “hated” her departure to be seen as “a negative comment on New Zealand”.

“I am grateful to have taken on this wonderful role over the years,” she told reporters from the birthplace of one of the country’s most influential Indigenous political movements.

Ardern’s Labor government’s popularity has deteriorated in recent months, hampered by a looming recession and a resurgent conservative opposition.

Hipkins will become prime minister on Wednesdaysaid it was “bittersweet” to replace a friend of 20 years.

“I’m really honored to take on this role, but Jacinda is also a very good friend of mine,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

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