What was behind Jacinda-mania – and why did it end so suddenly? – podcast


Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s outgoing prime minister, has said leading the country was “the greatest privilege of my life”. She leaves office today having led New Zealand through its response to the worst terrorist attack in its history and the Covid pandemic.

As the Guardian’s Tess McClure in Auckland tells Michael Safi, global adulation for Ardern, particularly in progressive circles, has made her an unlikely celebrity politician. But in New Zealand her legacy is more complex. The country – like much of the world – is in the grip of soaring inflation, and its housing is among the most expensive in the world.

Ardern cited no longer having “enough in the tank” to continue as prime minister, but her poll ratings in recent months had dipped and, in an election year, her Labour party is projected to lose its governing majority.


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