Jacinda Arden unveils ‘incredibly diverse’ cabinet

Wellington: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday unveiled what she called an “incredibly diverse” Cabinet, appointing former finance minister Grant Robertson as her new deputy.

He is the first openly gay person to hold the position. He also retains the finance portfolio, Al Jazeera reported.

Women and the Maori community were also strongly represented in the 20-member Cabinet, including new Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, who has a “moko kauae” – a traditional Maori tattoo on her chin.

Ardern has revamped her ministerial line-up in the wake of a landslide election victory in October.

“The next three years will be very challenging for New Zealand,” she told reporters in Wellington. “With the global outlook worsening, we won’t be immune to the ongoing effect COVID is having around the world.”

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Taking pride in her Cabinet’s diversity, Ardern added appointments were made on merit.

“It is both a Cabinet with huge merit and talent and which is incredibly diverse,” the 40-year-old said.

“I think it’s an important point to make – these are individuals who have been promoted for what they bring to the Cabinet, they also reflect the New Zealand that elected them. I think as a country we should be proud of this,” she said.

Prime Minister Ardren is now set to serve a second term.

With 87 per cent of the votes counted, Ardern’s centre-left Labour Party has won 48.9 per cent of the vote, meaning her party looks likely to score the highest result that any party has achieved since the current political system was introduced in 1996.

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