Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern [dʒəˈsɪndə ˈɑːdɜːn] (born July 26, 1980 in Hamilton , New Zealand ) is a New Zealand politician. She has chaired the New Zealand Labor Party since August 2017and has served as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand since October 2017. In October 2020, she was re-elected for another three years in the New Zealand Parliament election.
Origin, education and family
Jacinda Ardern was born in 1980 in Hamilton , the daughter of Laurell and Ross Ardern - both Mormons . She attended primary and secondary school in Morrinsville , a provincial town in the Waikato region . A few years followed in Murupara , where her father was a police officer. She started her studies at the University of Waikato in 1999 and completed her Bachelor of Communication Studies .
Together with her partner Clarke Gayford , Ardern has a daughter who was born on June 21, 2018, when she was already serving as Prime Minister. Ardern was only the second elected head of government of a country to have a child during her tenure (after Benazir Bhutto 1990). She lives in Auckland with her family.
To mark its inauguration as prime minister was Ardern in the TV show The Project moderator Jesse Mulligan from and later one more time Mark Richardson in the AM show radio station TV3 been asked about their desire to have children. She countered that - as set out in the Human Rights Act of 1993 - it was unacceptable for women to be asked about their desire to have children in connection with their job and that it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a current or potential employee because of them is pregnant or wants to have children in the future. What followed was a nationwide public discussion in which a majority of respondents agreed.
At the age of 17, Ardern joined the Labor Party . After studying political science and public relations, she worked first for MP Phil Goff and then for Prime Minister Helen Clark . In 2005 she moved to London , where she worked for two and a half years in the Cabinet Office of Prime Minister Tony Blair as Deputy Head of the Better Regulation Executive . In 2007 she became President of the International Union of Socialist Youth .
In 2008 Ardern won a parliamentary seat for the Labor Party in Waikato and has been a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives without interruption since the same year . In her inaugural address, she called for the introduction of compulsory teaching in Maori language in the country's schools and condemned the government for what she saw as a “shameful” response to climate change . As the youngest member of parliament, she was appointed Labor Party spokeswoman for youth issues and was also elected to the special committees for Regulations Review and Justice and Electoral . Ardern became her party's spokesperson for children's affairs (2012), for arts, culture and cultural heritage (2013), for justice and for small businesses (2014). She was also Deputy Spokesperson for Auckland Affairs from 2015. In 2014 she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum . After moving to Auckland , she and her family settled in the Mt Albert neighborhood . She won her first direct mandate in a by-election in the constituency of the same name in February 2017 . A month later, she became deputy opposition leader.
After Andrew Little resigned as leader of the Labor Party in late July 2017, Ardern took over the party leadership on August 1. In doing so, she also became the opposition leader in the New Zealand Parliament . According to a quick poll by the New Zealand Herald newspaper , the change at the top of the party met with broad approval among the population: Under Little , only 24 percent of voters in the Labor Party wanted to vote. In contrast, at the beginning of August 2017, 46 percent of those surveyed could imagine voting for Labor .
Politics as prime minister
After the parliamentary elections in September 2017 , Ardern was elected New Zealand's 40th Prime Minister after her party's coalition with the New Zealand First party by Winston Peters and with the tolerance of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand , and on October 26, 2017 by the Governor General of New Zealand , Patsy Reddy , sworn in.
Ardern pursues a progressive policy. She advocates multilateral politics and climate protection in order to combat global warming . As Prime Minister she implemented, among other things, a reformed tax system in favor of families, better support for rural regions and measures for affordable housing.
In October 2020, she and her Labor Party won the parliamentary elections in New Zealand 2020 by a large margin. Labor was the first party since the introduction of proportional representation in the 1990s to achieve an absolute majority. The media spoke of a "landslide victory" and attributed this to Ardern's very successful policy with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic . At this point in time, New Zealand had succeeded for the second time in not having a single known active corona case in the country. In total, fewer than 2,000 people had been infected and 25 people died in New Zealand by the time of the election.
Introduction of the wellbeing budget
At the World Economic Forum in January 2019 , Ardern announced that New Zealand would take a new approach to its fiscal policy. It stipulates that not only economic prosperity but also social well-being is taken into account. In practice, the individual ministries should show how government spending benefits people. For example, the figures on child poverty should be presented with every budget.
In May 2019, the New Zealand government presented the world's first wellbeing budget . It sets five priorities:
- Support the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy,
- Supporting a prosperous nation in the digital age,
- Increasing the incomes, skills and opportunities of the indigenous population,
- Reducing child poverty
- as well as mental health support with a special focus on young people.
The largest budget increase was in mental health. The plan is to invest NZ $ 1.9 billion over four years in this area . The record amount of NZ $ 320 million was also invested in measures to combat domestic violence.
The Wellbeing Budget was highly praised on the one hand, for example by the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand , but on the other hand it was also sharply rejected. Opposition leader Simon Bridges of the New Zealand National Party criticized, for example, that families wanted more money for food, gasoline and rent in their household budget, while their taxes were invested in rail links, defense forces and trees.
Christchurch terrorist attack
During Ardern's tenure as Prime Minister, the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch by an Australian right-wing extremist in March 2019 resulted in 51 deaths. In response to this, she announced a swift tightening of the gun law and enforced it within a few days.
For this and for her dealings with the victims of the attack, Ardern was largely praised, for example when she visited the injured and the bereaved wearing a headscarf to show her solidarity, hugged them and showed no fear of contact. She showed herself to be open to the world, understanding and sovereign and has since been highly valued by the Muslims in New Zealand. Her general popularity was also demonstrated by the fact that a video in which Ardern recounts the accomplishments of her first two years in office went viral in November of that year .
Measures against COVID-19
The targeted measures against the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand further increased Ardern's popularity, according to surveys. After a strict two-month lockdown, Ardern declared New Zealand coronavirus-free on June 8, 2020. By then, 1,504 infections and 22 deaths had become known. However, on June 15, 2020, it became known that two travelers from Great Britain had reintroduced the virus to New Zealand.
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|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Ardern, Jacinda Kate Laurell (full name)|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||New Zealand politician|
|DATE OF BIRTH||July 26, 1980|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Hamilton , New Zealand|