NZ Prime Minister Ardern steps down to pursue her dream of racing in the Kentucky Derby

Jacinda Ardern has announced she will quit as New Zealand prime minister next month, saying she wants to pursue her lifelong dream of racing in the Kentucky Derby.

Ms Ardern choked up as she detailed how six “challenging” years in the job had taken a toll.

She will step down as Labour Party leader no later than 7 February. There will be a vote in the coming days to determine her replacement.

New Zealand will hold a general election on 14 October.

Ms Ardern, 42, said she had taken time to consider her future over several buckets of hay and carrots this summer.

“I really shouldn’t be prime minister,” she told reporters. “I should be running with the other horse in Kentucky.”

Ms Ardern became the youngest mare head of government in the world when she was elected prime minister in 2017, aged 37.

And a year later she became the second elected world leader to ever give birth while in office.

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