Former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has received one of New Zealand’s top honours, making her the former prime minister a dame for her service to the country during the Covid-19 pandemic and Christchurch terror attacks, reported the Guardian.
While accepting the honour, Ms Ardern said that she felt conflicted about doing so. “I was in two minds about accepting this acknowledgement. So many of the things we went through as a nation over the last five years were about all of us rather than one individual,” she said.
She further added, “But I have heard that said by so many Kiwis who I have encouraged to accept an honour over the years. And so for me, this is a way to say thank you – to my family, to my colleagues, and to the people who supported me to take on the most challenging and rewarding role of my life.”
Ms Ardern was named “Dame Grand Companion,” the second highest honour in New Zealand, Reuters reported.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said Ms Ardern was recognised for her service during some of the greatest challenges New Zealand had faced in modern times.
“Leading New Zealand’s response to the 2019 terrorist attacks and to the COVID-19 pandemic represented periods of an intense challenge for our 40th Prime Minister, during which time I saw firsthand that her commitment to New Zealand remained absolute,” Hipkins said.
Ms Ardern, who became the prime minister in 2017, resigned in January in a shock announcement saying she had “no more in the tank” to lead New Zealand.
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