Dame Jacinda Ardern announces she is writing a book

  • 23/06/2023

Former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern has confirmed she is writing a book.

In an Instagram post on Friday morning, Dame Jacinda said she initially didn't plan to write a memoir. She didn't want to write a book "that hauled over the internal politics of the last five years".

"Then someone convinced me that I didn't have to. That maybe it might be worth "expanding on some of the things I talked about in my valedictory instead—like the idea you can be your own kind of leader and still make a difference".

"And so that's what I'm planning to do."

Dame Jacinda said she's working on the book with Penguin in New Zealand and Australia, Macmillan in the United Kingdom and Crown in the United States.

"There's no set date for when it will be done - the Christchurch call work on violent extremism and terrorism online is keeping me pretty busy- but I hope when it's done, it's the kind of book that would have made a difference to my 14-year-old self."

In her valedictory speech delivered in April, Dame Jacinda spoke about several issues important to her, including climate change and child poverty, and about leading New Zealand through the Christchurch shootings and COVID-19 pandemic.

She concluded the speech by noting she was a "worrier" and a "crier and hugger", and had learnt during her time in Parliament that she didn't need to change to survive.

"I cannot determine what will define my time in this place, but I do hope I've demonstrated something else entirely: that you can be anxious, sensitive, kind, and wear your heart on your sleeve, you can be a mother or not, you can be an ex-Mormon or not, you can be a nerd, a crier, a hugger—you can be all of these things, and not only can you be here; you can lead."

Dame Jacinda was Prime Minister between late 2017 and January this year. When announcing her resignation, she said she no longer had enough left in the tank to lead the country.

She's taken on several roles since stepping down, including Special Envoy to the Christchurch Call and working with Prince William's Earthshot Prize. Later this year, she will also join Harvard University to take on leadership fellowship roles.

The former MP for Mt Albert left Parliament in April. She accepted a Damehood in the King's Birthday honours.

She was succeeded as Prime Minister by Chris Hipkins.