New Zealand’s Ardern sworn in for second term after landslide win

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was sworn in for a second term on Friday, as final election results showed her landslide victory was even bigger than previously thought.

Ardern and her ministers, who were appointed earlier this week, took their oaths of office in English and Maori during a ceremony at Wellington’s Government House.

“I would say simply that sitting at this table is Aotearoa New Zealand,” Ardern said, using the Maori term for her country, gesturing at her 20-strong team, including many women and Maori, which she had previously described as incredibly diverse.

“There are significant challenges for us to overcome together, but I am confident we have the team to do it and it is great to be officially able to now crack on with it,” Ardern said.

The 20-strong new-look cabinet includes eight women.

“They collectively represent a range of different perspectives, huge talent, enormous experience and, as you would expect in any time of crisis, a huge commitment to serving this country.”

Ardern, 40, leveraged her success battling COVID-19 into an unprecedented majority at the country’s October 17 election, leading her centre-left Labour Party to its biggest win since World War II despite having to delay the poll when cases suddenly spiked.

Final results released on Friday showed Ardern won 50 percent of the vote, up from 49 percent on election night, giving her 65 seats in the 120-strong parliament, one more than initially expected.


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