28 February 2024

New Zealand has a new PM

By Gurbir  Singh:

New Zealand Labour Party’s leader, Jacinda Arden at 37 will be the world’s youngest prime minister after the minority party, NZ First decided to support a coalition with Labour.

This ended weeks of deadlock and stalemate over the formation of a government, and signaled the end of  National party’s three-term reign that was seeking a fourth successive term in Parliament. It will now be relegated to the opposition benches.

It is also the first time the party without the highest share of the vote, would be forming the Government in New Zealand.

Jacinda will be New Zealand’s third female Prime Minister – after National’s Jenny Shipley and Labour’s, Helen Clark. She achieved this coveted position in less than three months of being elected as the leader of the party when Andrew Little resigned as a result of low poll results. Her selection infused new vigour to a failing election campaign, and her slogan for change proved successful.

In a statement released to the media immediately after Winston Peters, leader of NZ First’s announcement to support Labour, Jacinda Arden said, “This is an exciting day. We aspire to be a government for all New Zealanders and one that will seize the opportunity to build a fairer, better New Zealand.

“We will work hard to ensure New Zealand is once again a world leader, a country we can all be proud of. We said we could do this, we will do this.

Election of 23 September had left National with 56 seats, Labour with 46, NZ First on nine, the Green Party on eight and ACT with one seat.

With the Green party also signing a confidence and supply deal, the Labour-led coalition will now have 63 seats, two more than the 61 majority they need.

Full details of the coalition are yet to be announced, but it has been confirmed that NZ First will have four cabinet ministerial positions in the new government, and that may include Winston peters as Dy PM.

Greens that have emerged from near extinction to being in the government for the first time, will have three ministers outside the cabinet.

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This was also published in Oct 2017 by this journalist in PressReader.com

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