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Last Updated : Oct 18, 2020 03:28 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern: A mother with a high-profile career

Jacinda Ardern has drawn praise and international recognition for her response to crises such as the Christchurch terrorist attack in March 2019, the deadly volcanic eruption at Whakaari, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jacinda Ardern won a second term as New Zealand Prime Minister on October 17, in a landslide victory enabling the Labour Party to form the government.

Ardern has drawn praise and international recognition for her response to crises such as the Christchurch terrorist attack in March 2019, the deadly volcanic eruption at Whakaari, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This has been a really tough time for New Zealand - we've had a terrorist attack, a natural disaster and a global pandemic," she said earlier in 2020, as quoted by BBC.

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"But in these tough times we've seen the best of us. We've been able to clear high hurdles and face huge challenges because of who we are, and because we had a plan," Ardern said.

Ardern is often labelled as the "anti-Trump" due to her style of leadership, which encourages inclusivity and empathy.

Ardern did receive some criticism for the lockdowns and "go heard, go early" approach in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Her government has also been accused of not fulfilling some crucial promises made during the 2017 election, such as reducing child poverty.

While retaining her popularity and managing crises, Ardern also handled changes in her personal life during her first term in office.

In 2018, Ardern gave birth to a daughter only eight months into her first term as New Zealand PM, becoming only the second head of state in the world to do so.

Ardern, who is 40, has frequently spoken about her experience of balancing motherhood and her career, and of the support she receives from her fiance Clark Gayford.

Early life and career

New Zealand's third female PM was born in Hamilton and grew up in Morrinsville. Her father Ross Ardern was a police officer and mother Laurell was a cook.

She had joined the Labour Party at the age of 18. In 2001, Ardern graduated from Waikato University with a degree in communication studies, after which she worked as a researcher for the then Prime Minister Helen Clarke.

Ardern was first elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) in 2008, and became the leader of the Labour Party in August 2017.
First Published on Oct 18, 2020 03:28 pm
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