IT took Jacinta Ardern just 80 days from taking over as leader of a political party to becoming New Zealand’s youngest prime minister. When she replaced Andrew Little as leader of the Labour Party, many political commentators saw her as a breath of fresh air but did not believe she would be able to wrest power from the National Party.
After a whirlwind campaign the Nationals under former Prime Minister Bill English held the greatest single majority in Parliament. Weeks of political manoeuvring saw the Greens Party sign a confidence and supply agreement with Labour and confirm four of its MPs would be in government but not in the cabinet working on key campaign areas such as climate change, conservation and women.
The Labour-Greens deal included making New Zealand a net zero emissions economy by 2050, a substantial investment in alternative transport options such as walking paths and cycle ways, overhauling the welfare system and committing to protecting New Zealand’s 3000 threatened plant and wildlife species.
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