Jacinda Ardern ended her tenure as Prime Minister of New Zealand yesterday with an emotional farewell speech in Parliament. The politician – became the youngest female head of state in the world after 2017 took office at 2020 – lead the country through unprecedented, even turbulent times. Not only has Ardern dealt with the aftermath of the country’s 2017 White Island eruption, she was also
horribly attacked at two mosques in Christchurch, and the 2020 outbreak of the COVID- pandemic .
During the almost 37 minute speech of the politician, Ardern spoke of how, “I found myself in the People’s lives at their most grief-stricken or most painful moments. Their stories and faces are still etched in my mind and will probably be forever. ” As she ended her speech in tears, she said, “I can’t be sure what will define my time living in this place. But I do wish I had shown something completely different. You can be anxious, sensitive, kind , put your heart on your sleeve; you can be a mother, or not, an ex-Mormon, or a nerd, a weeper, a hugger—you can be all of them, and you can’t just be here— You can lead.”
Ardern’s speech was accompanied by equally sharp fashion choices. The politician opted to wear a traditional Maori poncho, an attire that elegantly pays tribute to New Zealand’s wealthy Maori people. Known as korowai, these special-occasion cloaks are often trimmed with black tassels or feathers; they can take an experienced weaver several months, up to a year, to create. Usually gifted to respected or high-ranking people, they represent honor, leadership, and prestige.