Over the past five-and-a-half years, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern dealt with a natural disaster, a terror attack, a global pandemic and two election victories. She now says she has nothing left in the tank for the demanding job.
The Labour party caucus will vote on Sunday for the next prime minister.
It was a dramatic rise to leadership for Jacinda Ardern, taking over from Andrew Little just one month out from the 2017 election.
After staring down the barrel of electoral disaster, the new leader propelled Labour to an unexpected victory, courtesy of a coalition deal with New Zealand First.
Ardern became New Zealand's third female prime minister and the world's youngest female head of government at age 37.
Just a year into the role she gave birth to her daughter Neve, making her the world's second elected head of government to give birth while in office.
Christchurch mosque attacks
On 15 March, 2019 the country faced one of its darkest days with the Christchurch mosque attacks and the murders of 51 people.
Ardern's compassion for the Muslim community, emphasis on the victims and swift action on New Zealand's gun laws attracted global praise.
"They are us," Ardern said of the victims of the mosque attacks.
"The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not.
"They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was."
Ardern met with survivors and the Muslim community, wearing a hijab in solidarity.
Just nine months after the terror attack, it was a natural disaster that once again propelled the prime minister back onto the world stage - the eruption of Whakaari White Island and the deaths of 22 people.
Again, Ardern offered words of comfort, saying in Parliament, "I say to those who have lost and grieve, you are forever linked to our nation and we will hold you close."
She met first responders and praised the helicopter pilots who rescued the stranded in the immediate aftermath of the eruption.
In 2020, Covid-19 arrived in New Zealand and brought with it a nation-wide lockdown, anxiousness, and uncertainty.
Ardern's government initiated an elimination strategy response which kept infections and deaths low. When vaccines became widely available, New Zealand transitioned to a mitigation strategy and New Zealand's Covid-19 mortality rate remains low.
In an address to the nation in March 2020, Ardern said, "I say to all New Zealanders: the government will do all it can to protect you. Now I'm asking you to do everything you can to protect all of us. Kiwis - go home."
The daily 1pm public address by Ardern alongside then Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield became a daily fixture for New Zealanders. One commentator described Ardern's messaging as a "masterclass in crisis communication".
Later that year, an election fought primarily on Covid-19 saw Ardern lead Labour to the first one-party majority in the MMP era.
A month-long occupation of Parliament grounds by anti-vaccination and anti-mandate protesters began in February 2022. It resulted in a violent eviction by police, with protesters assaulting police and setting fire to Parliament grounds.
Ardern told a press conference: "It was an attack on our front-line police, it was an attack on our Parliament, it was an attack on our values, and it was wrong.
"Our country will not be defined by the dismantling of an occupation. In fact, when we look back on this period in our history, I hope we remember one thing. Thousands more lives were saved in the past two years by your actions as New Zealanders than were on that front lawn of Parliament today."
In a shock announcement at the Labour caucus gathering in Napier, Ardern announced she was stepping down.
"I believe that leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also one of the more challenging. You cannot, and should not do it unless you have a full tank plus a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges," she said.
"This summer, I had hoped to find a way to prepare for not just another year, but another term - because that is what this year requires. I have not been able to do that.
"And so today, I am announcing that I will not be seeking re-election and that my term as prime minister will conclude no later than the 7th of February."
Come October 14th this year, Labour will need to look to someone else for its political salvation.