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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Honored as Dame Jacinda Ardern

On Monday, the title of dame was bestowed upon Jacinda Ardern for her contribution to the country of New Zealand. This comes just under four months after the conclusion of her tenure as prime minister, during which she became the international face of a compassionate style of liberal politics.

The title, which is known as Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, is the second highest honour that can be bestowed in the nation. It was presented as part of the yearly custom of bestowing honours in celebration of the King’s Birthday holiday. In most cases, the prime minister is the one to choose the honorees, but they must be authorised by King Charles III, the British monarch who now serves as New Zealand’s head of state.

Ms. Ardern said that she was “humbled” to receive the prize and admitted that she had at first contemplated turning it down.

According to her successor, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, the former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who can now style herself as Dame Jacinda Ardern, was recognised in part for her role in New Zealand’s response following the deadly terrorist attacks in the town of Christchurch in March 2019 and the coronavirus pandemic. These were “some of the greatest challenges our country has faced in modern times,” Hipkins said. He said that Ms. Ardern has shown a “absolute” dedication to New Zealand throughout her time in office.

Ms. Ardern, who is 42 years old, made the unexpected revelation that she will resign from her position as Prime Minister in January. Her statement came nine months before the next general election. She blamed her inability to perform the part on tiredness, explaining that she no longer had the “full tank plus a bit in reserve” that was required for it. This decision was made at a time when her center-left Labour Party was experiencing significant difficulties in the polls.

Ms. Ardern has, in the time after she stepped down from her position, continued to volunteer her time in an unpaid role to work on the New Zealand government’s response to online extremism and terrorism. In addition to that, she is on the board of directors for the Earthshot environmental award that Prince William established, and at the end of this year, she will begin two fellowships at Harvard University.

As a member of the Order of Merit, Ms. Ardern follows in the footsteps of both of her immediate predecessors as Prime Minister, namely Sir Bill English and Sir John Key.

In keeping with New Zealand custom, the highest honour bestowed by the nation was bestowed to Queen Camilla, who was presented with the Order of New Zealand on Monday. Helen Clark and Jim Bolger, two former prime ministers, are two of the twenty people who have been selected to receive this honour, which has a recipient cap of twenty.

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