20 Jan 2023

Mt Albert residents reflect on Jacinda Ardern's resignation

9:38 am on 20 January 2023
Jacinda Ardern (centre) speaking to media outside her home in Pt. Chevalier, Auckland. Phil Twyford (left) and Grant Robertson (right) stand with her.

Jacinda Ardern speaks to media outside her home in the days following the 2017 general election. Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

On a hot Auckland afternoon, people on the streets of the prime minister's electorate were still taking in the news yesterday, saying Jacinda Ardern's resignation had come like a bolt from the blue.

One man said he was sad to see her go, saying she had accomplished a lot of great things during her time as leader.

"I'm somewhat in mourning, I think, just processing all that," he said.

And Maddie from Mt Albert said she would never have picked such dramatic news.

"I was very surprised, especially with her resigning so soon, not a lot of warning!" she said.

She was looking forward to seeing who would be Labour's next leader, but doubted the party would win the election.

Maddie said that, without Ardern, Labour would likely lose the October election to the National Party.

The founder of the Mt Albert Islamic Trust, Muhammed Ali, believed Ardern made an indelible mark on the local Muslim community.

He said after the 2019 Christchurch mosque attack, the prime minister's rallying call was felt loud and clear in her electorate.

"Whenever we walked up the road during those days, everybody who saw us would say the Muslim greeting As-salamu alaykum," he explained.

Dr Ali said that was incredibly touching at a time of great anxiety for the Muslim community.

He hoped Labour's next leader would show that same compassion.

Another Mt Albert local told RNZ it was good to see Ardern focussing on her well-being.

"I'm happy for her, if that's her choice, especially spiritually, physically, and mentally," she said.

Mt Albert residents say they will be keeping a close eye on the leadership race, as they farewell their high-profile MP.

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