Politics

Jacinda Ardern Is NZ’s New PM, Less Than Three Months After Becoming Labour Leader

JACINDAMANIA HAS TRIUMPHED.

After a long wait, New Zealand’s finally got a new PM, and it’s Jacinda Ardern!

After the September 23 election ended in a hung Parliament, Winston Peters of the New Zealand First party held the balance of power in Parliament. He took his sweet time (26 days) deciding which major party to form a coalition with, but announced today that he will be siding with Ardern’s Labour Party, for policy reasons he intends to detail later.

Peters also told a press conference that he didn’t actually tell about Ardern his decision in advance, because he believed the New Zealand people deserved to know first. We can only assume she’s similarly shocked and pleased.

News of Ardern’s prime ministership is extraordinary given that she became leader of the Labour Party less than three months ago. She became Labour’s youngest ever leader back in August, less than two months out from an election, and generated huge support (remember “Jacindamania”) that took the party from underdog to real contender in an incredibly short period of time.

Personally and policy-wise, she also seems to be a bit of a legend. She spent her first day on the job annihilating sexists with incredible patience, and then ran a phenomenal campaign appealing to younger voters with policies focused on free tertiary education, housing affordability and environmental degradation.

In her first statement following the news, Ardern 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.”

We can’t wait to see what New Zealand has in store. Hopefully Julie “I would find it very hard to build trust with [an NZ Labour government]” Bishop gets on board too.