Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern[1] (/əˈsɪndə ˈɑːrdɜːrn/;[2] born 26 July 1980) is a New Zealand politician who has been the 40th prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. She was first elected to the House of Representatives as a list MP in 2008, and has been the member of Parliament (MP) for Mount Albert since March 2017.[3]

Jacinda Ardern

Ardern in 2018
40th Prime Minister of New Zealand
Assumed office
26 October 2017
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralPatsy Reddy
DeputyWinston Peters (2017–2020)
Grant Robertson (2020–present)
Preceded byBill English
17th Leader of the Labour Party
Assumed office
1 August 2017
DeputyKelvin Davis
Preceded byAndrew Little
36th Leader of the Opposition
In office
1 August 2017  26 October 2017
DeputyKelvin Davis
Preceded byAndrew Little
Succeeded byBill English
17th Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
In office
7 March 2017  1 August 2017
LeaderAndrew Little
Preceded byAnnette King
Succeeded byKelvin Davis
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Mount Albert
Assumed office
8 March 2017
Preceded byDavid Shearer
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for the Labour Party List
In office
8 November 2008  8 March 2017
Succeeded byRaymond Huo
Personal details
Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern

(1980-07-26) 26 July 1980 (age 41)
Hamilton, New Zealand
Political partyLabour
Domestic partnerClarke Gayford (2013–present)
ChildrenNeve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford
ParentsRoss Ardern (father)
ResidencePremier House, Wellington
Alma materUniversity of Waikato (BCS)

Born in Hamilton, Ardern grew up in Morrinsville and Murupara, where she attended a state school. After graduating from the University of Waikato in 2001, Ardern began her career working as a researcher in the office of Prime Minister Helen Clark. She later worked in London as an adviser in the Cabinet Office. In 2008, Ardern was elected president of the International Union of Socialist Youth.

Ardern was first elected as an MP in the 2008 general election, when Labour lost power after nine years. She was later elected to represent the Mount Albert electorate in a by-election in February 2017.

Ardern was unanimously elected as deputy leader of the Labour Party on 1 March 2017, following the resignation of Annette King. Just five months later, with an election due, Labour's leader Andrew Little resigned after a historically low opinion polling result for the party, with Ardern elected unopposed as leader in his place.[4] She led her party to gain 14 seats at the 2017 general election on 23 September, winning 46 seats to the National Party's 56.[5] After a period of negotiations, New Zealand First chose to enter a minority coalition government with Labour, supported by the Green Party, with Ardern as prime minister; she was sworn in by the governor-general on 26 October 2017.[6] She became the world's youngest female head of government at age 37.[7] Ardern later became the world's second elected head of government to give birth while in office (after Benazir Bhutto) when her daughter was born on 21 June 2018.[8]

Ardern describes herself as a social democrat and a progressive.[9][10] The Sixth Labour Government has focused particularly on the New Zealand housing crisis, child poverty, and social inequality. In March 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had been praised and endorsed worldwide. Ardern led the Labour Party to a historic victory in the 2020 general election, gaining an outright majority of 65 seats in Parliament, the first time this has happened since the introduction of proportional representation in 1996.