Former New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern could take on global leadership role in Christchurch Call initiative


New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has hinted at a potential job for former leader Jacinda Ardern based on her flagship foreign policy effort.

During her five-year prime ministership, Ardern established the Christchurch Call with French President Emmanuel Macron, a unique tie-up between more than 120 nations and major tech companies to eliminate online extremism.

The Call was founded in the wake of the Christchurch Mosques terror attacks, which occurred on March 15, 2019 – four years ago on Wednesday.

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At his weekly post-cabinet press conference, Hipkins floated the idea that Ardern could maintain her interest in the Call beyond her career in politics.

“(The Call) remains one of our international priorities,” he said.

“New Zealand is seen as having taken a really positive global leadership role there, and I want to make sure that we’re seeing that through.

“There’s potential for Jacinda Ardern to continue to be involved in that work, and in due course we’ll explore what that might look like.”

Jacinda Ardern has maintained a low profile since her departure as NZ prime minister in January. Credit: AAP

Ardern has not given interviews and has maintained a low profile since her shock departure as prime minister, announced on January 19.

She was spotted in the hard-hit town of Hastings in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, helping to create food parcels at a community centre.

A spokesman for Ardern told AAP, “We’re not commenting on the former PM’s future plans at this time”.

The two-time election winner is due to give her valedictory statement in the next month and will leave parliament on April 15.

Ardern’s incredible overseas appeal has led to many suggestions she could take an ambassadorial posting when she leaves politics, or hold an international office.

Deputy opposition leader Nicola Willis, standing in for her COVID-struck leader Chris Luxon, said that idea had merit.

“I’ll be very interested to see what prime minister Ardern is intending to do post politics,” she said.

“If that includes being an ambassador for New Zealand on the world stage in a way that furthers our country’s interests, then I think National will be supportive of that.”

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