Former New Zealand Leader Jacinda Ardern Honored as Dame for Service to the Nation
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who recently stepped down from her position. She has been bestowed with the title of dame, one of the highest honors in the country.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on the occasion of the King’s Birthday public holiday. Alongside 181 other individuals recognized for their outstanding contributions to New Zealand.
Dame Jacinda Ardern served as Prime Minister from 2017 to 2023 and is acknowledged for her exceptional service during some of the nation’s most challenging times.
Her leadership in response to the 2019 terrorist attacks and the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated her unwavering commitment to New Zealand.
Prime Minister Hipkins, a member of the same party as Ardern, praised her resilience and dedication to the country.
This prestigious appointment grants Ardern the title of Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
An honor awarded to individuals from various fields who have displayed meritorious service to the Crown and the nation.
Established in 1996, the Order of Merit recognizes individuals for their eminence, talents, contributions, or other notable merits.
Expressing her humility, Ardern stated in an interview with CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand (RNZ) that she was initially hesitant about accepting the acknowledgment.
She recognized that the challenges faced by New Zealand in recent years were collective. Rather than the achievements of a single individual.
However, inspired by the gratitude expressed by many fellow New Zealanders who have received honors in the past, Ardern accepted the accolade as a way to show appreciation to her family, colleagues, and supporters who aided her during her transformative tenure.
Former New Zealand Leader Jacinda Ardern Named Dame for Distinguished Service
During Jacinda Ardern time as Prime Minister, she gained international recognition for her empathetic leadership style and deft handling of crises such as the Christchurch terrorist attack, a volcanic eruption, and the global pandemic.
As one of the youngest leaders in the world, she also made history as the second world leader to give birth while in office.
Ardern’s compassionate approach and commitment to progressive values turned her into a global icon, symbolizing hope and resilience.
However, domestically, her popularity faced challenges due to issues like rising living costs, housing shortages, and economic concerns. She also encountered anti-lockdown protests in Wellington, including threats against her.
In January, Ardern surprised many by announcing her resignation, citing the need for a break from politics. This decision garnered farewell messages from world leaders and admirers worldwide.
In April, Jacinda Ardern revealed her plans to pursue two fellowships at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in the fall.
Despite her absence during the upcoming New Zealand general election, she intends to return after completing her studies.