Thank You From Bottom Of My Heart: Jacinda Ardern’s Emotional Farewell On Last Day As PM

Outgoing New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday bid an emotional farewell on her last day in the office and spoke about the empathy and kindness that the New Zealanders have shown her, reported Reuters.

Days after she stunned the world by announcing that she would step down and that she had “no more in the tank”, the 42-year-old arrived at a gathering of politicians and Maori elders in the small town of Ratana, north of the capital Wellington where she was surrounded by supporters seeking photographs, the report added.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the greatest privilege of my life,” Ardern told the gathering in a speech.

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Ardern will resign on Wednesday and will be succeeded by the new Labour Party leader Chris Hipkins.

Ardern, along with Hipkins and opposition politicians were at an annual visit to Ratana where a weeklong celebration is held for the birth of Maori prophet Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana.

She was received by the people who thanked her for her leadership.

“Thanks so much for teaching us to love quickly,” one elder told Jacinda.

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“My overall experience in this job of New Zealand and New Zealanders in this job has been one of love, empathy and kindness,” she said.

“I want you to know I leave with a greater love and affection for Aotearoa New Zealand and its people than when I started,” she added.

The left-leaning global icon gained attention for bringing her baby to a United Nations meeting and wearing a hijab after a massacre targeting Muslims. Although she became a target for hate and online abuse by right-wing extremists on social media, she said she was leaving the job with love in her heart.