Dame Jacinda Ardern has revealed she didn’t resign because of burnout and says she could have kept going in a recent interview.
The former PM went on the US talk show Good Morning America [GMA] to reflect on her career and talk about her new life outside of politics.
She was in New York to speak during the Earthshot Innovation Summit - Prince William’s environmental charity.
Ardern described her life as “very different” almost nine months after her resignation, following 15 years of working in Parliament.
“I was overwhelmed that beyond New Zealand shores it triggered a discussion about how we make these decisions, and I’ve had particularly a few women say to me thank you for showing me that’s it’s okay to say, I’m tired or I don’t have enough in the tank anymore to do a job well.”
GMA host Robin Roberts asked Ardern if she characterised her own resignation as a result of burnout, which she denied.
“I could have kept going but for me having been through a period where we did experience a lot of crisis in New Zealand, it was whether or not I had enough to do the job well.
“The answer for me personally was no, it was time for someone else. So a bit different than burnout,” Ardern said.
She hoped her run as prime minister would inspire other future “reluctant leaders” and those “who may think they might not have the right character traits, or they see themselves as too sensitive or not tough enough”.
Ardern said they are necessary traits for leaders.
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“We need more empathy in leadership we need more kindness in leadership.”
Former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern reveals what she misses most about politics. Photo / Good Morning America
On what life is like after politics, she described it as “very different” and that she was enjoying spending more time with her family.
Ardern said she wanted to be present for her daughter Neve, who turned five this year and started school.
Jacinda Ardern, her partner Clarke Gayford, and their child Neve. Photo / Getty Images
“But I also still want to be useful and so, at the moment, I’m very lucky to be in Boston, I’m at Harvard.”
In April, Ardern revealed her new Harvard University post specialising in technology governance, alongside her previously announced jobs working as a special envoy to the Christchurch Call and joining the Earthshot board.
“I’ve got access to fantastic faculty but importantly inspirational students and also working on some issues around how we safely ensure that online is a safe environment.”
Ardern said the March 15 mosque attack being live-streamed online was a first and she now works towards trying to rid the online world of extremism and staying on top of new, emerging technology.
Roberts told Ardern she had heard she was planning on writing a book, despite having previously signalled that she didn’t want to.
Ardern said she didn’t want to necessarily write about her political experiences and she didn’t want to betray the confidence of her friends, so instead she’s writing a few stories about her current adventures.
On what she misses the most about New Zealand and politics, she said “the people, the people are amazing”.
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