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Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, declares that she will step down in February 2023

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Wednesday that she will resign in February 2023, bringing to an end her three-year term in office.

Ardern, who took office in October 2017, has been widely praised for her handling of the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a press conference, Ardern said her decision was “about the most important job I have ever had and that is as Prime Minister of New Zealand”.

“I’ve been absolutely humbled by the trust and support the New Zealand public has given me. And I want to make sure that I’m able to give that trust and that support back,” she said.

Ardern said she had thought long and hard about the decision and that it was “time” for her to step down.

“I want to make sure that I am able to give my very best to this role, and that means sometimes knowing when it’s time to pass it on,” she said.

Ardern said she would continue to focus on her priorities, including housing, reducing child poverty, tackling climate