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renegadebusdallas.com November 21, 2017


Australian journalist surprised by Jacinda Ardern's accessibility

22 October 2017, 02:16 | Marta Robbins

ROBERT KITCHIN STUFF Top party leader Gareth Morgan

Top party leader Gareth Morgan

Winston Peters, the leader of the minority New Zealand First party, revealed Ardern's selection as prime minister on live television with much fanfare on Thursday, announcing that he would support her as leader of a coalition government.

He got through to Ardern, who confirmed it's pounced, "Ah-durn".

As Ms Ardern's star rose, at least twice it caught the attention of those on this side of the Tasman. "Heard variant pronunciations of Jacinda Ardern, so called her office".

Later, when a NZ Labour politician became embroiled in the Barnaby Joyce citizenship saga, Ms Ardern was forced to respond to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's suggestion that she would find it hard to work with a NZ Labour government.

But she kept the celebrations low-key on Thursday night after ending Labour's nine years in the wilderness. Labour had hit the front in some polls.

Ousted New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English conceded the election, calling Ardern's success "a remarkable performance" given her party's fading political status just 10 weeks ago. He opposed plans by English's National Party to increase the pension age and plans by Labour to tax certain water users.

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When the ballots were counted, National won the popular vote, claiming 56 seats, with Labour on 46 and the Greens with eight under the country's MMP system.

"With no hints on policy, and vague attacks on "capitalism", New Zealanders now face a weak left-wing coalition beholden to a madman on the loose", he said in a press release.

Ardern, 37, will be the nation's youngest leader in more than 150 years. "That is why we believe that capitalism must regain its responsible, its human face".

Throughout, the government had portrayed her as inexperienced and idealistic. She doesn't play by the rules that most politicians do.

The new leader said she had received congratulations from Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Britain's Theresa May and Canada's Justin Trudeau.

Asked if her government would complete its three-year term, she replied: "Absolutely".



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