New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern chooses diversity for her new government

New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern chooses diversity for her new government

New Zealand's Prime Minister chooses diversity. Jacinda Ardern introduced her new cabinet on Monday, which she described as “incredibly diverse”. In total, women hold eight of the 20 positions in the new executive branch that will be inaugurated on Friday. Māori represent 25% of elected officials, and the LGBTQIA+ community represents 14.3% of government, confirms Helen Clark, New Zealand's Prime Minister from 1999 to 2008.

This cabinet reshuffle comes two weeks after Jacinda Ardern won the general elections that took place on October 17. The Labor leader was able to put together a team without the populists, who were a cumbersome partner during her first term. However, it still enjoys the support of the Green Party.

High percentage of women

Prime Minister Grant Robertson was chosen as Deputy Prime Minister. He will be the first openly gay person to hold the crucial position of No. 2 in the government, responsible for delegating the head of government when abroad. This heavyweight from the previous government retained the erstwhile Finance portfolio and also became the Infrastructure Minister.

Women and the Māori community are also strongly represented in this 20-member government. And so Nanaia Mahuta – who wears a moko kauai, the chin tattoo reserved for women in Maori culture – became foreign minister. Becoming the first woman to hold this position.

Response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The New Zealand Prime Minister stressed that the appointments were made on the basis of merit. “This is a government that brings together many talents,” she said. “It is important to stress that these individuals were appointed because of what they bring to government, while reflecting the New Zealand that elected them,” she continued. “It's something we should be proud of as a country.”

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Jacinda Ardern has been praised at the polls for her successes against the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a success that it intends to certify by appointing former Health Minister Chris Hipkins to the new ministry to confront Covid-19. This is a change that will allow it to focus on some crucial issues in the fight against the epidemic, such as border control and quarantine management, without being concerned with health issues specifically.

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