Nov 2, 2020 - World

Jacinda Ardern announces "incredibly diverse" New Zealand cabinet

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta following an announcement about upgrading drinking water infrastructure on July 08, 2020 in Hastings, New Zealand.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with her new Foreign Affairs Minister, Nanaia Mahuta — the first woman ever to hold the role. Photo: Kerry Marshall/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday her "incredibly diverse" new 20-member Cabinet, as she revealed Finance Minister Grant Robertson would also serve as deputy prime minister — the first openly gay New Zealander to hold the position.

Of note: Ardern spoke during her first term of the need to improve the gender balance in government and women and members of New Zealand's Māori community are well represented in the new Cabinet.

"It is both a Cabinet with huge merit and talent, which also happens to be incredibly diverse. .... 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."
— Ardern's news conference remarks

The big picture: Women now hold eight of the full Cabinet positions and make up 43% of Ardern's wider administration, per the Conversation. 53% of the Labour caucus and 47% of parliament is female. The global average is about 25%.

  • Five Labour members of parliament and 25% of executive are Māori. And Ardern named Māori Nanaia Mahuta as foreign affairs minister — the first woman to hold the position in New Zealand's parliamentary history.
  • Meanwhile, Green Party co-leader, Marama Davidson, who is Māori, holds a ministerial portfolio outside of Cabinet.
  • And just under 10% of all members in the new parliament are from the LGBTQ community, TVNZ notes.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the Cabinet, further context and to correct an earlier version that incorrectly referred to Greens co-leader James Shaw as gay.

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