New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Unveils New Cabinet
Jacinda Ardern names 'incredibly diverse' New Zealand cabinet; focus on coronavirus recovery
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after a landslide victory has formed the first single-party government. She has now unveiled a unique and diverse cabinet. It includes first openly gay deputy prime minister and a tattooed Maori Foreign Minister.
Ardern has appointed Grant Robertson as deputy prime minister. This makes him the first openly gay person to hold the role. He also retains the finance portfolio. She also appointed new Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, who has a moko kauae, it is a traditional Maori tattoo on the chin.
When asked about the significance of having a gay man in the role, Ardern said her reasons for selecting him were his leadership qualities, not how he identified. She expressed pride at her cabinet’s diversity, also said that the appointments were made on merit.
Jacinda Ardern won the October 17 election campaigning on New Zealand’s success containing the coronavirus. Her new cabinet includes a new role of minister for COVID-19 response. It is filled by former Health Minister Chris Hipkins.
She has also appointed two legislators from the Green Party to ministries outside the cabinet. One of them being James Shaw, who will become a climate change minister. The other is Marama Davidson, who will have a portfolio focusing on preventing family and sexual violence.
The government will be sworn in on Friday.