Former New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern honored as a Dame


Former New Zealand leader, Jacinda Ardern, who stepped down from her post earlier this year, has been made a dame in one of the country’s highest honors.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced the appointment on Monday to mark the King’s Birthday public holiday, with Ardern among 182 recipients receiving various honors for their contributions to the country.

“Having served as Prime Minister from 2017 to 2023, Dame Jacinda Ardern is recognized for her service to New Zealand during some of the greatest challenges our country has faced in modern times,” Hipkins said in a statement.

“Leading New Zealand’s response to the 2019 terrorist attacks and to the Covid-19 pandemic represented periods of intense challenge for our 40th Prime Minister, during which time I saw first hand that her commitment to New Zealand remained absolute.”

Hipkins, who hails from the same party as Ardern, the Labour Party, succeeded her as leader.

The move grants Ardern the title of Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The Order of Merit, established in 1996, is awarded to those in any field who have performed “meritorious service to the Crown and the nation” or who are known for their “eminence, talents, contributions, or other merits,” according to the government site.

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