20 Jan 2023

Jacinda Ardern quits: Live updates on response from NZ and around the world

6:02 pm on 20 January 2023

Outgoing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she slept easy last night, knowing the decision to step down is the right one, as Labour Party members get ready to choose her replacement Sunday.

The Labour caucus will meet to vote at 1pm Sunday and Ardern has said she expects a leader to be chosen that day.

Nominations for the position of Labour Party Leader must be received by 9am on Saturday.

Nominations require support from at least 10 percent of the caucus which with 64 MPs is seven MPs, not including the nominee.

If a vote is required the vote will be by exhaustive ballot, the party said in a statement this afternoon. That means it will be by rounds and the lowest polling candidate will be removed at the end of each round.

This will continue until either one candidate has two thirds of the vote or more, or there are two candidates and neither can secure two thirds of the vote. There are no limits on the number of votes to be taken.

Ardern's resignation caught the public - and some of her own colleagues - off guard as Labour's caucus gathered for its annual retreat in Hawke's Bay yesterday.

Heading into Napier's airport this morning, she told reporters she felt confident resigning is the right decision.

"I'll have to admit I slept well for the first time in a long time last night, but there's still a range of emotions.

"I, of course, feel sad, but also I do have a sense of relief."

Ardern said she planned to spend time at home and pack over the weekend.

Ministers Chris Hipkins, Michael Wood and Kiri Allan are considered possible contenders - but no-one has publicly declared their candidacy.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson has already ruled himself out and other media reports that MP Megan Woods has also declined to stand.

Read more:

Look back at how Friday 20 January unfolded with RNZ's live blog:

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs