Ardern says she'll bring change to NZ

At 37, Jacinda Ardern will become New Zealand's youngest prime minister in 150 years.
At 37, Jacinda Ardern will become New Zealand's youngest prime minister in 150 years. Nick Perry

INCOMING New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern received a standing ovation from her caucus colleagues yesterday in their first meeting since learning Labour would lead the new government.

Ms Ardern, 37, who will become NZ's youngest PM in 150 years, ending nine years of National Party rule, told her fellow MPs they had been "gifted an opportunity” by the people of NZ and would be "a government of change”.

NZ First leader Winston Peters announced on Thursday that his party would enter coalition with Labour, with the Greens backing Labour on confidence and supply.

Negotiations with NZ First and the Greens were a chance to build common ground, Ms Ardern said, but they remained "distinct parties”.

"Labour remains a party that at its core is based on making sure we defend the rights of workers,” she said.

"In these negotiations and through this period we have stayed true to who we are. And we have found allies in this Parliament who wish to join with us in building a fairer New Zealand.

"A country where our environment is protected. Where we look after the most vulnerable. Where we support our families. Where we make sure people have the most basic of needs like a roof over their head.”

- staff writer

Topics:  greens jacinda ardern labour party national party nz first nz prime minister

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