'I didn't know that I was tough enough' — Ardern reveals she nearly didn't pursue politics

Global interest in Jacinda Ardern is not slowing down, with the Prime Minister most recently speaking on a wide range of issues on a CNN podcast.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Global interest in New Zealand’s leader doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Source: Breakfast

Yesterday's installment of the Axe Files covered climate change, US politics, Covid-19, women in politics and her own background.

Ardern revealed on the segment how her career in politics almost didn't happen because she thought she wasn't "tough enough".

"I didn't know that I was tough enough for politics," she said.

"I had it in my head, for good reason, that you have to be quite thick-skinned. You certainly can't be the emotional type. And I didn't know whether or not, having had such close proximity to the place and having seen it in action, whether or not I could do it.

"The biggest barrier for me was probably the fact that I didn't necessarily think that the traits that I held and valued the most were those that would be easily accepted in politics."

However, Ardern gained international popularity when she gave birth to daughter Neve while in office in 2018, then for her handling of major events such as the Christchurch mosque attacks in 2019 and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

She also shared on the podcast how she felt like she was "preparing New Zealanders for war" when announcing the nation's Covid-19 alert levels.

"The magnitude of it felt really significant," she said.