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Former New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern is writing a book on leadership

WELLINGTON (AP) – Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Friday she is writing a book, with the focus more on leadership than on politics.

In an Instagram post, Ardern said she is often asked whether she will write about her five years as New Zealand’s leader.

“At first, my answer was no. I didn’t want to write a book that hauled over the internal politics of the last five years, and then someone convinced me that I didn’t have to,” Ardern wrote.

“That maybe it might be worth expanding on some of things I talked about in my valedictory instead — like the idea you can be your own kind of leader and still make a difference. And so that’s what I’m planning to do.”

Ardern said she had no date for when the book will be published.

In this file photo, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gestures as she gives her victory speech to Labour Party members at an event in Auckland, New Zealand, October 17, 2020. PHOTO: AP

“But I hope when it’s done, it’s the kind of book that would have made a difference to my 14-year-old self,” Ardern wrote.

Just 37 when she became prime minister in 2017, Ardern was seen as a global icon of the left. She shocked New Zealanders in January when she said she was stepping down because she no longer had “enough in the tank” to do the job justice in an election year.

Since then, Arden has announced she will temporarily join Harvard University this year after being appointed to dual fellowships at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has also taken on an unpaid role combatting online extremism.

This month, Ardern received one of New Zealand’s highest honours for her service leading the country through a mass shooting and pandemic. She was made a Dame Grand Companion, meaning people will now call her Dame Jacinda.

Ardern said she was working with a team of publishers — Penguin in New Zealand and Australia, Macmillan in Britain and Crown in the United States. The publishers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.