New Zealand PM Ardern’s stardom at home fades as economic troubles loom

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's popularity at home has been declining due to to some policy turnarounds. PHOTO: REUTERS
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SYDNEY - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s spectacular rise and down-to-earth manner have led to her being feted as a global celebrity, but her political future is in doubt as concerns grow about the country’s economy and the soaring cost of living.

Ms Ardern, 42, sprung into the international spotlight when she won a national election five years ago, just weeks after becoming leader of the Labour Party. She gained further attention after having a baby in 2018 – the second elected leader in history to give birth in office, after Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto – and won praise for her sensitive handling of the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attacks, in which a gunman killed 51 people at two mosques.

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