Jacinda Ardern Officially Sworn In For Second Term As New Zealand’s PM
Jacinda Ardern has been officially sworn in for her second term as prime minister of New Zealand after winning the election by a landslide.
Ardern has been repeatedly praised across the globe during her time in office, most recently for her response to the coronavirus pandemic which helped stem the outbreak across the country.
The prime minister, leader of New Zealand’s Labour Party, won the election on October 17 against Judith Collins of the opposition National Party.
Initial results indicated she won 49.1% of the votes, bringing a projected 64 seats and a rare outright parliamentary majority, while the National Party won 26.8%.
Once all the votes were counted and recorded, results showed Ardern actually won 50% of the vote, giving her 65 seats in the 120-strong parliament. The result is the Labour Party’s biggest win since World War II, according to Al Jazeera.
The National Party saw its seats reduced from 35 to 33 – a result that prompted campaign director Gerry Brownlee to step down as deputy party leader.
The Maori Party, which represents the Indigenous community that makes up about 15% of New Zealand’s population, picked up an additional seat and has secured two representatives in the new parliament.
Ardern and her ministers were sworn in for the second term today, November 6, by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy in a ceremony at Wellington’s Government House.
The team were joined by families and close staff as they took their oaths of office in both English and Maori, and the ceremony included a traditional Maori welcome and prayer, known as a karanga and a karakia.
Gesturing to her 20-strong team at the event, she said the group was made up of people who had been ‘described in many different ways’, but she believed they were representative of ‘Aotearoa New Zealand’ – the Maori term for the country.
There are significant challenges for us to overcome together, but I am confident we have the team to do it and it is great to be officially able to now crack on with it.
They collectively represent a range of different perspectives, huge talent, enormous experience and, as you would expect in any time of crisis, a huge commitment to serving this country.
Speaking to reporters at the swearing-in cemerony, Ardern said her team will ‘make sure we represent all those who elected us, be they in city seats, rural seats, general seats or Maori seats.’
After winning the election, Ardern appointed Nanaia Mahuta as the country’s first indigenous female foreign minister.
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