“It is a women’s decision about when they choose to have children and it should not predetermine whether or not they are given a job or have job opportunities.”
And just like that Jacinda Ardern blasted into our news feeds. It was August this year and, six hours after being elected as the Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, Ardern was asked about her plans to have children.
Her response was as scathing as it was honest.
“I have been very open about discussing that dilemma because I think probably lots of women face it,” she told talk show hosts Mark Richardson and Jesse Mulligan.
“But it is totally unacceptable in 2017 to say that women should have to answer that question in the workplace, it is unacceptable, it is unacceptable.”
Did we know then, that Jacinda Ardern – the 37-year-old from Hamilton in the North Island – would be appointed on October 19 the new Prime Minister of New Zealand?
We couldn’t know it but, oh, were we hopeful.
In August, Ardern was elected unanimously to as the Leader of the Opposition just seven weeks before the 2017 general election. “Mr Speaker, I did not come into politics to be an opposition member of parliament,” she told parliament at the time.
In those seven weeks – with Ardern spearheading a “campaign of positivity” – the Labour Party skyrocketed in terms of public opinion.
The election saw Labour gain 15 seats – increasing its representation to 45 seats, the best result since Labour lost power in 2008.
These 45 seats meant, if Labour was to partner with either the Greens or the New Zealand First party, it would form a majority government – overthrowing the National party, which has ruled for nine years.
Yesterday, when the leader of the New Zealand First party Winston Peters hosted a press conference, Ardern likely knew he would announce the forming of a coalition with Labour, bringing them into power.
What she didn’t know, was that he would specify her as the leader of that Coalition, and as New Zealand’s next Prime Minister… New Zealand’s youngest ever Prime Minister.
But hell, she’s earned it.