New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is putting children first

Posted by On 8:21 AM

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is putting children first

"If you ask me why I’m in politics my answer will be simple: children," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told the audience at Mashable’s 9th annual Social Good Summit on Sept. 23.

On the one-year anniversary of the general election that elevated her to power, Ardern spoke about one of her greatest passions as a politician: helping kids.

"When I came into office, somewhat surprisingly, I did so with the single-minded determination to improve the lives of children in New Zealand," she said, speaking alongside the executive director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore.

"As one of our 12 priorities as a government we want to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child," Ardern said. "Not to raise children, but to be a child."

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To achieve this goal, Ardern plans to focus on reducing child poverty, achieving quality education for kids, and implementing workplace policies that give children a chance to bond with their parents.

Ardern who had her daughter, Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, in June, became the second world leader to give birth while holding office and the first to take maternity leave. In 1990, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto made history by giving birth to her daughter, but returned to work the following day.

Ardern took six weeks parental leave, during which time Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, stepped in to cover her duties. And having experienced leave first-hand, she feels it's essential for parents to spend time with their newborns in those critical early days.

"Unless there is a culture that accepts that mothers and children are part of our workplaces, we won’t change anything," Ardern said.

More Social Good Summit coverage:

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  • 6 things Deaf activist Nyle DiMarco wants you to know about sign language

  • Little Miss Flint's 5 awesome tips for becoming a young activist

About Social Good Summit

The intersection of technology and new media has redefined our understanding of human progress. In the midst of this rapidly changing world, the Social Good Summit focuses on where we’re headed. Held annually during the United Nations General Assembly week, the Summit unites a lively community of global citizens and progressive thought leaders around a common theme: #2030NOW. A dynamic exploration of the world we want to live in by 2030, the Social Good Summit will focus on how we can unlock techno logy’s potential to make the world a better place. For complete event details, visit

This year's summit is brought to you by Mashable, the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, and the 92nd Street Y. For complete event details, visit

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Source: Google News New Zealand | Netizen 24 New Zealand

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