Jacinda Ardern

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Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern (profile).JPG
Jacinda Ardern in 2016
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour Party List
Assumed office
8 November 2008
Personal details
Born Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern
(1980-07-26) 26 July 1980 (age 35)
Hamilton, New Zealand[1]
Nationality  New Zealand
Political party Labour Party
Relations Ross Ardern (father)
Alma mater Waikato University
Website jacinda.co.nz

Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern[2] (born 26 July 1980) is a New Zealand politician and a member of the Labour Party's shadow cabinet. She was first elected to parliament as a list MP at the 2008 general election.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Ardern grew up in Morrinsville and Murupara, where her father, Ross Ardern, worked as a policeman.[4] She attended Waikato University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. She joined the Labour Party at a young age, and became a senior figure in the Young Labour Party. After graduating from Waikato University, she spent time working in the offices of Phil Goff and of Helen Clark as a researcher. She later spent time in London, working as a senior policy advisor.[5] In early 2008 she won election as the President of the International Union of Socialist Youth.

Ardern was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) but left the church in 2005 because it conflicted with her political views.[6] Her current boyfriend is media personality Clarke Gayford[7]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
2008–2011 49th List 20 Labour
2011 – 2014 50th List 13 Labour
2014 – present 51st List 5 Labour
Ardern, with Phil Goff and Carol Beaumont, at an anti-mining march on 1 May 2010.

After a high placement on Labour's party list for the 2008 election (her ranking at number 20 virtually guaranteed a seat in Parliament) Ardern returned from London to campaign full-time. She also became the Party's candidate for the Waikato electorate. Ardern was unsuccessful in the electorate vote, but was elected as a List MP. Upon election, she became the youngest sitting MP in Parliament, succeeding fellow Labour MP Darren Hughes, and remained the youngest MP until the election of Gareth Hughes on 11 February 2010.

Labour Parliamentary leader Phil Goff appointed Ardern as Labour's spokesperson for Youth Affairs and as associate spokesperson for Justice (Youth Affairs).[8]

Jacinda Ardern has featured as a panel guest on the TVNZ show Back Benches. The episode's panel comprised young members of various political parties. On 19 November 2008, shortly after the 2008 general election, Ardern featured for the first time on this show. She featured again on Wednesday 23 June 2010, shortly after the shadow cabinet reshuffle, in which Ardern had no portfolio change.[citation needed]

She has also made regular appearances on TVNZ's Breakfast programme as part of the "Young Guns" feature, in which she appeared alongside National MP Simon Bridges.[9]

Ardern contested the high-profile Auckland Central seat for Labour in the 2011 general election, standing against incumbent National MP Nikki Kaye for National and Greens candidate Denise Roche. Despite targeting Green voters to vote strategically for her, she did not succeed in her bid to unseat Kaye, losing by 717 votes. However, she returned to Parliament via the party list.[10] She maintains an office within the electorate as a listed MP based in Auckland Central.

After Goff resigned from the Party leadership following his defeat at the 2011 election, Ardern supported David Shearer over David Cunliffe. She was elevated to the fourth-ranking position in the Shadow Cabinet on 19 December 2011, becoming Spokesperson for Social Development under new leader David Shearer.

Political beliefs[edit]

In 2004, Ardern paid $20 to have her name included in a "full page ad in a major New Zealand newspaper supporting the Civil Union Bill." [11] She voted in favour of Marriage Equality Bill, a bill which allowed same-sex couples to legally marry in New Zealand.[12] Adern believes student loans should be kept interest-free.[13]


External links[edit]