There’s hope in the world when it comes to women in global leadership.
Jacinda Ardern will become the next prime minister of New Zealand, by forming a minority government with the New Zealand First party.
The news comes after weeks of negotiating with the NZ First party, with the minority party’s leader Winston Peters announcing he would back Ardern’s Labour party during a television event this afternoon.
Unfortunately for Ardern, it’s unlikely to be an easy term.
Still, this is a massive victory for Ardern, who only became leader of the Labour party on August 1, just months prior to the election. At the time, Labour was headed for a massive defeat.
Ardern is also just 37, making her the youngest ever female PM in New Zealand’s history (in 1856 Edward Stafford was also 37 at the start of his term). She will be its third female leader. Her Coalition government will also have the backing of NZ’s Greens party.
Ardern said in a statement that her party would aspire to build a fairer country.
“This is an exciting day. We aspire to be a government for all New Zealanders and one that will seize the opportunity to build a fairer, better New Zealand,” she said.
“We will work hard to ensure New Zealand is once again a world leader, a country we can all be proud of. We said we could do this, we will do this.”
Peters said his decision to support the Labour party was made for the “New Zealand people” and that it would produce “change” rather than merely modifying the “status quo” — as his support to the Bill English led National party would have done.
He said that capitalism has not been “the friend but the foe” for too many New Zealanders.
“We believe capitalism must regain its human face, and that conviction deeply influenced our decision.”
“We had a choice for a modified status quo or for change. That’s why in the end we chose a coalition government with NZ First and the Labour party.”
He added that Ardern had shown her talent during the election campaign.
Ardern also apparently only learnt that her party had been chosen to lead by NZ First at the time of the press conference.
Congratulations Jacinda Ardern.