AUCKLAND, OCTOBER 31: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has secured the backing of the Green Party for her next term of Government.
Ardern announced Saturday that her Labour Party entered a cooperation agreement with the Greens that gives the smaller party 2 ministerial posts outside Cabinet in return for its support on matters of confidence and supply in Parliament. Ardern will announce her new Cabinet on Monday, with Ministers to be formally sworn in on November 6.
Ardern won an outright majority in the October 17 election, the first since New Zealand introduced proportional representation in 1996, and doesn’t need the Greens to govern. But the Greens supported her first administration and it is in her interests to maintain a good relationship with a party she may have to rely on again in the future.
“This cooperation agreement reflects the positive working relationship between our two parties and our areas of shared interest, while respecting the mandate voters gave Labour to form a government,” Ardern said in a statement. “It will deliver stability and cooperation in key policy areas while allowing the Greens to take an independent position from the government on all other matters.”
Green Party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson have been made Ministers outside Cabinet, with Shaw retaining his Climate Change portfolio, and Davidson to be appointed to the new position of Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence. She will also take on the role of Associate Minister of Housing.
Ardern said the agreement strengthens the Government’s stability and will ensure a strong majority in Parliament on the most important votes.
“As we accelerate our recovery from COVID, strong stable Government is essential to New Zealand,” she said. “Between this agreement and our existing parliamentary majority we won’t be held back from getting on with the work needed to rebuild our economy and continue to keep New Zealand safe from COVID.”