Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, 37, becomes New Zealand Prime Minister

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern flanked by deputy leader Kelvin Davis (left) and Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson (right) during her announcement that Labour would form a government with NZ First. (Photo: Kevin Stent)

Jacinda Ardern is the new Prime Minister of New Zealand after NZ First leader Winston Peters announced a coalition government with the NZ Labour Party. The Greens are expected to back Labour on confidence and supply, giving the combined parties 63 seats, two more than the 61 majority they need.

Stepping into government brings the left out of the cold of opposition for the first time in nine years.

Winston Peters gives Labour Party his support

Ms Ardern, who only found out the news at the same time as the rest of the country, opened her first press conference as prime minister elect by acknowledging her predecessor in the role, National leader Bill English. “I want to thank Bill English for the role he has played in this campaign but also as prime minister and as serving in the past as NZ’s Finance Minister,” she said.

Australia’s opposition leader Bill Shorten, and former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard congratulated Ms Ardern on Twitter.

[Read the full Age article].

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