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New Zealand forms government under Jacinda Adern


New Zealand forms government under Jacinda Adern

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Labour's Jacinda Ardern is the next prime minister

Political parties in New Zealand have agreed on a centre-left coalition government to be led by Labour head Jacinda Adern.

The small New Zealand First party became the kingmaker after September's indecisive election results.

The vote had ended in a stalemate with neither the National Party led by incumbent Bill English nor Labour able to govern without a coalition partner.

The new coalition will also be supported by the Green Party.

New Zealand First head Winston Peters on Thursday announced his party's decision to ally itself with Labour.

Who is Jacinda Adern?

His party holds the balance of power with nine seats, while the Labour-Green bloc has 54 seats and the National Party 56 seats.

He said his party was faced with a decision between "modified status quo or change" and decided to go for change.


The campaign ahead of the September general election had seen a tightly contested race between incumbent Bill English and rising political star Jacinda Adern.

The strong Labour support, dubbed "Jacinda-mania", brought the party neck and neck with the National Party, though supported dropped slightly in the last days of the campaign.

Ms Ardern had targeted young New Zealanders with policies on education subsidies, housing and the environment.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ms Ardern's popularity brought her party back into contention

Bill English became prime minister in 2016 when his predecessor John Key unexpectedly resigned.

He had promised voters experience and reliable economic management.

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