New Zealand Opposition Chief Abruptly Quits as Election…

But at Tuesday’s Labour Party caucus meeting he did just that, despite insisting just hours earlier that he would not step down.

Ms. Ardern, 37, has been viewed as a future leader of the party since she became the youngest sitting member of Parliament at age 28. But she joked to reporters Tuesday morning that she had just accepted “the worst job in politics.”

Ms. Ardern said she would move quickly to put her own stamp on the party and help Labour run “the campaign of our lives.” She said she would take the next 72 hours to take stock of the party before announcing its new direction for the final weeks of campaigning. The election is set for Sept. 23.

Labour has been plagued by leadership woes since Helen Clark, the former prime minister, lost her last general election in 2008. Since then, Labour has cycled through five leaders, including Mr. Little, with none managing to make a significant dent in the popularity of John Key, the long-serving prime minister from the National Party.

Mr. Key resigned in 2016, saying he didn’t have another term in him, effectively handing the prime ministership to his deputy, Bill English.

But the Labour Party continued to struggle; in June, it was embroiled in controversy involving an internship scheme in which young volunteers from around the world had arrived in New Zealand to work, unpaid, to help the Labour campaign. Some of the interns complained to the news media about their living conditions.

In New Zealand’s parliamentary system, parties outside the two largest typically build coalitions to support the government so it can pass legislation. In the last month, the Green Party has been rising in the polls to 15 percent support as Labour has been on the decline.

The results suggest the Greens have been the beneficiaries of Labour’s disarray.

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