On Thursday (Jan. 19), Ardern dropped a political bombshell with the announcement of her resignation — citing burnout — twinned with confirmation of a national election in October.
Ardern became the world’s youngest female head of government when, in 2017, she was elected to lead the country, aged 37. In the years since, she has navigated the Land of the Long White Cloud through an obstacle course of challenges, and reportedly faced an escalation of abuse and threats for her efforts.
“There will never be another like you. I wish there were,” writes Pink, the Philadelphia native who is recognized in Australia and New Zealand as an honorary citizen, thanks to her rigorous touring of these parts.
“You have my admiration, my respect, my well wishes for you + your beautiful family,” the message continues. “I have watched you shine uniquely + bravely from afar. Thank you 4showing the rest of the world what’s possible.”
The admiration is mutual. According to local entertainment and news title Stuff, the pair met in September 2019 at one of Pink’s performance at Spark Arena, and organized a “play date” for their kids.
Arden also holds the portfolio for Arts, Culture and Heritage and has a stronger connection with the local music industry. When Anthony Albanese was elected as prime minister of Australia in 2022, the two leaders swapped vinyl records for the cameras. The NZ chief is a sometimes-DJ and she has twice delivered keynote addresses at the Going Global music industry powwow in Auckland, the nation’s most populous city.
“This has been the most fulfilling five and a half years of my life,” she said during a press conference in Wellington, the capital. “But it’s also had its challenges – among an agenda focused on housing, child poverty and climate change, we encountered a … domestic terror event, a major natural disaster, a global pandemic, and an economic crisis.”
The Labour leader will step aside no later than Feb. 7.
Pink has no such plans to get out at the very top. She teased the Jan. 27 release of “Trustfall,” the title track from her forthcoming ninth studio album. The album proper is due out Feb. 17, and is the follow to 2019’s Hurts 2B Human, which logged a week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and is one of her three leaders on the chart.