Jacinda Ardern: A New Kind of Leader
Reviewed by National Chair Penny Ryan
A biography of the New Zealander who became prime minister at the age of 37.
Jacinda Ardern, current Prime Minister of New Zealand, has impressed many people, but why? This overtly sceptical book is an attempt to find that out.
On the one hand she is decribed as charismatic, a pragmatic idealist, never being known to lie, and appearing to have genuine empathy and a sense of humour. On the other, she is ruthless, determined and a smiling assassin, who fails to meet her own high standards and is more popular inetrnationally than domestically. However, she led her party to an outright majority in the 2020 election (not covered in the book).
What comes across very clearly is that her use of social media signals personal availability rather than self-obsession. Ardern is a career politician, but from the time she served on her school council, her constituents' needs have come first. The author sums up her impact by saying, 'What Arden was unintentionally doing by showing a bit of humanity and good intentions was highlighting the complete lack of these things in other countries' leaders'.
For me, Ardern was summed up by borrowing a scarf to wear as a hijab when she flew to comfort survivors of the Christchurch massacre.
I will watch her future career with interest.
Click here to purchase on Amazon
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