Labour leader Jacinda Ardern’s stardust has turned into star power as she heads to the Prime Minister’s office at the age of 37 and just two and a half months after becoming leader of her party.
Ardern defied all the usual rules of politics to get there – she took over the leadership just seven weeks before an election in a desperate bid by Labour to restore its fortunes and it was relying on a support partner which was also in chaos in the Green Party. Even Ardern once commented she had a “hospital pass”.
She is New Zealand’s third female Prime Minister – after National’s Jenny Shipley and Ardern’s own mentor, Helen Clark. It is also the first time the party without the highest share of the vote has formed the Government.
New Zealand kingmaker Winston Peters says he will form a coalition with Labour, handing newcomer Jacinda Ardern the prime ministership.
Peters told a news conference on Thursday afternoon that Ms Ardern exhibited enormous talent on the campaign trail.
“We’ve always wanted to be in a coalition with one party, no more,” Mr Peters said at a highly anticipated news conference.
“We believe capitalism must regain its human face.
“We had a choice for a modified status quo or for change.