Former New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern honored as a dame – KESQ

By Jessie Yeung, CNN

(CNN) Former New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern, who stepped down from her post earlier this year, has been made a dame in one of the country’s highest honours.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced the appointment on Monday to mark the King’s birthday holiday, with Ardern among 182 recipients to receive various honors for their contributions to the country.

“Having served as Prime Minister from 2017 to 2023, Dame Jacinda Ardern is recognized for her service to New Zealand during some of the greatest challenges our country has faced in modern times,” Hipkins said. in a sentence.

“Leading New Zealand’s response to the 2019 terrorist attacks and the Covid-19 pandemic represented periods of intense challenge for our 40th Prime Minister, during which time I saw firsthand that her commitment to New Zealand remained unwavering. ”.

Hipkins comes from the same party as Ardern, the Labor Party, and succeeded her as leader.

The move grants Ardern the title of Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The Order of Merit, established in 1996, is awarded to those who in any field have rendered “meritorious services to the Crown and the nation” or who are known for their “eminence, talents, contributions or other merits,” according to the government site.

In a statement to CNN affiliate radio new zealand (RNZ), Ardern said she was “incredibly honored” by the award.

“I had doubts about accepting this recognition,” he said. “A lot of the things we went through as a nation in the last five years were about all of us rather than just one individual.”

“But I have heard that from so many Kiwis whom I have encouraged to accept an honor over the years. So for me, this is a way of saying thank you – to my family, to my colleagues, and to the people who supported me in taking on the most challenging and rewarding role of my life.”

When Ardern became the country’s prime minister in 2017 at the age of 37, she was New Zealand’s third leading woman and one of the world’s youngest leaders. Within a year, she had become the second world leader to give birth in office.

His time in power was defined by multiple crises, including the Christchurch terror attack, a deadly volcanic explosion and the pandemic.

She quickly became a progressive global icon, remembered for her empathy as she guided New Zealand through these crises and for taking her young daughter to the United Nations General Assembly.

Back home, however, his popularity waned amid rising costs of living, housing shortages and economic anxiety. And he faced violent anti-lockdown protests in the capital, Wellington, with threats against him.

Ardern announced it shock resignation in January, saying that he no longer had enough fuel in the tank to run in an election, drawing a wave of praise and warm farewells from other world leaders and his many international admirers.

In April, he revealed She’s heading to Harvard University this fall to complete two fellowships at the Harvard Kennedy School, the university’s school of public policy and government. She will be away for a semester, missing the New Zealand general election, but will return at the end of the scholarships, she said.

The CNN Wire
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