Even before earning a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies (2001), Jacinda Ardern began her association with the Labour Party.
In 1999, at age 17, she joined the party and, with the help of an aunt, became involved in the re-election campaign of Harry Duynhoven, a Labour member of parliament (MP) in the New Plymouth district.
In her victory speech, Jacinda Ardern reached out to all New Zealanders:
Jacinda Ardern’s bold style of handling of gun control over the Christchurch mosque shootings and her response to the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand has made her popular.
Here’s 11 Facts About Jacinda Ardern That will leave you amazed
Fact #1 – Jacinda Ardern is New Zealand’s third woman leader
Helen Clark became the first woman to be elected Prime Minister in 1999, staying in power until 2008 when the National Party won the elections.
Fact #2 – Jacinda Ardern’s agenda calls for making New Zealand more livable
As Ardern’s vowed into power, she addressed her new government re-stating their principal objectives and responsibilities towards wider public: to be focused, active, empathetic and strong.
The Labour party’s prime concern areas include access to housing, a reduction in child poverty, addressing climate change, and increasing the minimum wage.
Fact #3 – Jacinda Ardern is pretty clear about her opinion on LGBTQ Issues
Ardern was raised a Mormon, but left the faith in her 20s because of the church’s staunch anti-homosexual stance.
Ardern was also one of the political leaders to vote in favour of the 2013 Marriage Equality Bill, the disruptive legislation that enabled same-sex couples to marry in New Zealand.
Fact #4 – Ardern promotes frugality in the government
In an attempt to promote frugality amongst government, she encouraged ministers to carpool to events and previously announced pay freeze for MPs.
In 2020, she announced a 20% cut in pay for herself and cabinet ministers in response to the Covid-19 economic crisis.
Fact #5 – Giving Birth as a Prime Minister
On 21 June 2018 Ardern became only the second elected leader in the world (after Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto) to give birth while in office.
While Bhutto was dismissed from office seven months later, nothing of this sort happened in Ardern’s case.
Fact #6 – Ardern’s actions to combat Global Warming
In 2019, she made a keynote speech to the United Nations on Global Warming stating that “If we are to overcome the extraordinary threat that climate change poses, we all must start with an honest appraisal of our current situation.”
In 2019, she helped pass through NZ parliament a zero-carbon bill which commits the country to new climate change laws and to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2050.
Fact #7 – Jacinda Ardern’s First Baby
For the first six months, she continued to breast-feed her new child, Neve and took her with her partner on official business.
In 2018, she became the first leader to bring their child to a United Nations meeting.
Three-month-old Neve sat in as Ardern gave a speech to the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit.
Fact #8 – Ardern’s Early Jobs
In 1999, she left her job at the fish and chip shop to work full time for the New Zealand Labour Party in the general election.
One job she held for a short while was working as a DJ at Auckland’s Laneway Festival.
At the age of 17, she spent six months volunteering in a soup kitchen in New York, where she served food to the homeless.
She also served as policy adviser for the UK government in 2008, even though she was critical of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair due to his decision to invade Iraq.
Fact #9 – Ardern’s Early Response to Covid
In 2020, Ardern’s government was one of the first to issue lockdown orders. Ardern locked country down saying “We go hard, we go early” in contrast to other countries who sought to ‘flatten the curve’ she sought to ‘eliminate the virus’ completely.
Death rates in the early months of 2020 were significantly lower than in other countries.
Fact #10 – Ardern’s isn’t afraid to speak up about mental health
Mental health is a major concern in the New Zealand, with increased suicide rates and an overall scarcity in adequate resources being among the top concerns
Fact #11 – Ardern’s taking care of the well-being budget
As Prime Minister, she has sought to divert resources to those areas which do most to increase well-being.
This has included funds to reduce child poverty, funds for mental health and funds to combat domestic violence.
Other Random facts About Jacinda Ardern
- She doesn’t drink coffee.
- She is distant cousins of Shane Ardern, a National MP and on the opposite side of the political spectrum.
- She had a ginger-and-white polydactyl cat named Paddles, who became the nation’s First Cat until the cat was run over and killed by a car.
- Her babies name Neve Te Aroha. Neve is derived from the Irish Niamh (meaning bright) Aroha is a Maori word for love and Te Aroha is a mountain near Ardern’s home town.
- Her partner is Clarke Timothy Gayford who is a tv presenter and has presented a tv show ‘Fish of the Day’
- She has called capitalism a ‘blatant failure’ for the levels of homelessness.