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Ardern urges New Zealand parliament to keep climate change out of politics in her valedictory speech

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urged lawmakers to take politics out of climate change during her valedictory speech to the parliament on Wednesday.

“I called it (climate) our nuclear moment – I believed it then and I believe it still now,” Ardern said in her final farewell speech to parliament, shedding light on other issues during her tenure as premier, including the 2019 terrorist attack on a mosque and COVID-19, according to Radio New Zealand.

She knew she wanted climate change to be front and center when she became prime minister, she said.

“We have seen firsthand the reality of our changing environment … when crisis has landed in front of us I have seen the best of this place,” she added.

Several people died and huge damages were caused by the heavy flood and record rainfall in Auckland and other regions of New Zealand in January.

Ardern, 42, announced her resignation from the top position in January, saying she no longer had “enough in the tank” to continue the nation’s top job.

She received a standing ovation at the end of her tearful speech, during which she also talked about the tragic 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack and said she still struggled to talk about the deadly mosque attack.

“What came next is one of the most profound memories I have of that period, he thanked us, here was someone who had been through one of the most horrific experiences I could imagine and he thanked New Zealand and expressed gratitude for his home,” she said of her meeting with survivors after the attack.

On March 15, 2019, Brenton Tarrant, an Australian white supremacist, killed 51 people and injured 40 more at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, using semiautomatic weapons and live streaming the attack.

On Tuesday, Ardern was appointed special envoy for the Christchurch Call, or in the fight against extremism and terrorist content online.

While announcing his government’s decision, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the newly created position will represent New Zealand’s continued commitment to pushing for greater online protection from terrorist and violent extremist content.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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