Jacinda Ardern named in world's most powerful women list

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been named the 29th most powerful woman in the world.

The annual list, released by Forbes, "celebrates the icons, innovators and instigators who are using their voice to change power structures and create a lasting impact".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at the UN General Assembly.
Photo credit: UN.

Ms Ardern slides into the list above Australia's richest citizen, Gina Rinehart, at 30, and popstar Beyoncé Knowles, at 50.

Topping the list is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has held the number one spot for eight years running.

This year Ms Ardern is the only New Zealander on the list. Last year she was named the 13th most powerful woman in global politics by Forbes.

The business magazine said on its website that Ms Ardern "set new norms as a government leader" when she gave birth to baby Neve earlier this year and announced her partner Clarke Gayford would be a stay-at-home father.

"She is using her platform to 'create a path for other women' to follow in her footsteps."

They also cited her age, at 38 she is the youngest female leader in the world and New Zealand's youngest leader in 150 years.

Top 30 most powerful women in the world according to Forbes:

1. Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Germany

2. Theresa May, Prime Minister, UK

3. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF

4. Mary Marra, CEO, General Motors

5. Abigail Johnson, CEO, Fidelity Investments

6. Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

7. Susan Wojcicki, CEO, Youtube

8. Ana Patricia Botín, Chair and Executive Director, Banco Santander

9. Marillyn Hewson, CEO, Lockheed Martin

10. Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM

11. Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook

12. Gail Boudreaux, President and CEO, Anthem

13. Angela Ahrendts, SVP, Retail, Apple

14. Safra Catz, Co-CEO, Oracle

15. Isabelle Kocher, CEO, ENGIE

16. Adena Friedman, President and CEO, NASDAQ

17. Ho Ching, Exec. Director and CEO, Temasek

18. Emma Walmsley, CEO, GlaxoSmithKline

19. U.S. Supreme Court Justices

20. Oprah Winfrey, Entrepreneur, Personality, Philanthropist

21. Ruth Porat, SVP and CFO, Alphabet

22. Laurene Powell Jobs and family, Founder and President, Emerson Collective

23. Queen Elizabeth II, Monarch, United Kingdom

24. Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President, The White House, United States

25. Phebe Novakovic, CEO, General Dynamics

26. Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Prime Minister, Bangladesh

27. Stacey Cunningham, President, NYSE Group

28. Amy Hood, EVP and CFO, Microsoft

29. Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, New Zealand

30. Gina Rinehart, Executive Chairman, Hancock Prospecting