Former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern reveals what she misses most about politics, how life is 'very different' now

  • 22/09/2023
"It was time for someone else."
"It was time for someone else." Photo credit: Good Morning America

Former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern says life is "very different" almost nine months after her resignation. 

Following 15 years in Parliament, Dame Jacinda announced her resignation in January saying she "no longer had enough in the tank" to do the job. 

"It's time," she said. 

Earlier this week, the former PM joined US talk show Good Morning America where she was asked about her resignation being categorised as "burn out" by some. 

"I see them as very different. I could have kept going but for me having been through a period where we did experience a lot of crisis in New Zealand, it was whether or not I had enough to do the job well," she said. 

"The answer for me personally was no, it was time for someone else. So a bit different than burn out." 

She said the thing she'll miss most about politics is the people. 

"I met amazing people, it was an honor to serve all of them," she told GMA.

Almost nine months after announcing her resignation, Dame Jacinda said life now is "very different" and is enjoying extra time she has to spend with whānau. 

"But I also still want to be useful and so, at the moment, I'm very lucky to be in Boston, I'm at Harvard." 

Dame Jacinda told GMA she's surrounded by inspirational students and working on issues around making the online world safer. 

She highlighted the March 15 Mosque attack being livestreamed and said the world needs to ensure it's prepared and staying on top of new, emerging technology. 

When asked why she decided to change her mind about writing a book, Dame Jacinda said it was someone else who convinced her. 

"I didn't want to write about the small individual political things that happened in New Zealand over the past five years."  

The former Prime Minister added she didn't want to betray the confidence of her former colleagues, but then someone presented the idea of writing a book from the perspective of what it "was like to be human" in her role.  

"They changed my mind, and so now I'm really just writing a few stories." 

The Good Morning America host showed Dame Jacinda video of her jumping of the Auckland Sky Tower during a visit to Aotearoa and asked if the former PM had ever done it. 

"No, because no one does this in New Zealand - other than people who visit it," she said. 

"And this is one of the beautiful things about New Zealand, we don't have snakes and we find other ways of killing ourselves."