Ardern makes room for Greens in New Zealand's Labour government

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured on October 20, 2020) said offering two ministerial positions to the Greens would help move forward on their shared goals
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured on October 20, 2020) said offering two ministerial positions to the Greens would help move forward on their shared goals

Despite a landslide election victory for her Labour Party, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Saturday that the Green Party would be given two ministerial positions to help advance their "shared goals".

The announcement came after Green Party members voted to accept a "cooperation agreement" to support Labour.

Ardern's centre-left Labour Party took 64 of the 120 parliamentary seats in the October 17 election, after the charismatic leader campaigned on the success of her government guiding the country through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although Ardern could govern without the support of minor parties, she said she wanted to build on shared goals with the Greens who were in her previous three-party coalition government.

Their ministerial portfolios will cover climate, the environment and child and community wellbeing issues. 

"On election night I said Labour would govern for all of New Zealand and continue to build as much consensus as possible –- this agreement achieves that objective," Ardern said. 

"We showed in the last government we can work well with the Green Party. On environmental and wellbeing issues there is much we agree on that is good for New Zealand and I want to draw on our shared goals and expertise to keep moving forward with that work." 

The third member of the previous coalition government, New Zealand First, failed to win any seats in the election.

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