Green Party co-leader James Shaw has paid tribute to former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying it was a “privilege” to have worked with her.
Ardern will deliver her valedictory speech on Wednesday afternoon after announcing in January her resignation as Prime Minister and her intention to stand down from politics.
Shaw, who is also the Climate Change Minister and worked alongside Ardern, told AM on Wednesday the former Prime Minister was a “truly extraordinary leader”.
“It’s been a huge privilege for me to have worked with her over the course of five and a half years as a member of her Government, in two successive Governments,” Shaw told AM Early co-host Michael O’Keefe.
“I think history will record her as a truly extraordinary leader during a really incredible time in our history and to have navigated us through successfully, not just the COVID-19 pandemic, but also a number of other crises as well.”
Shaw said it had been a “great privilege” to have worked with Ardern as she navigated the country through some difficult periods.
“I think there will be books written about this that look back on this very, very unusual time with a very, very unusual leader. It’s been a great privilege,” Shaw said.
The former-Prime Minister also revealed what her future looks like during a Newshub interview on Tuesday evening.
Ardern said she had been appointed New Zealand’s special envoy for the Christchurch Call and was also joining the board of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize.
The Christchurch Call was developed in the aftermath of the March 15 shootings to coordinate the work of governments, technology companies and other organisations on eliminating online violent extremist content.
Ardern told Newshub she asked to keep working on the Christchurch Call because she feels so strongly about the cause.
“I believed it had more to do, and I knew that I would have the time to do it. And I certainly have the passion for it,” she said.
She said the approach tech companies took to online extremism has fundamentally changed since the March 15 terror attacks, but there was more good work it could do.
“I also still feel a duty at a personal level to the community who are affected by this tragedy,” she said.
Watch the fuull interview with James Shaw in the video above.