6 Nov 2020

New government 'will take nothing for granted' - Ardern

4:05 pm on 6 November 2020

The new government want to get on with the job of recovering from one of the most challenging times in the country's history, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said after the first meeting of her new Cabinet.

Ardern has spoken after the first meeting of her new Cabinet, just hours after being officially sworn in.

Watch the post-Cabinet press conference here:

"We will be the government for all New Zealanders," Ardern says.

"Today I reminded Cabinet that the honour of serving comes with enormous responsibility. We take nothing for granted in leading the team of five million over the next three years."

She says her government will work with other parties on some issues as necessary.

"It will be case by case."

Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy swore in the new Cabinet in a ceremony this morning.

Ardern says the formal opening of Parliament will take place on Wednesday 25 November, when the Speaker will be chosen.

The House will rise for the year on 9 December.

Cabinet meetings will continue after the House rises.

Ardern says Cabinet will meet again on Monday and there is a busy agenda for the rest of the year. She will outline more about that next week.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is sworn in for her second term.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is sworn in for her second term. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

She wants to remind the country that her government will work for all people as it works on significant challenges that the country faces.

She was humbled by news that Labour's share of the vote had risen today.

Ardern says the new government will be focused on managing and recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The final election results were also released today showing Labour had won 50 percent of the vote. With more than 500,000 special votes counted, the National Party loses two seats with one each going to Labour and the Māori Party.

The parliamentary majority gives Ardern and her party a strong mandate, but she has chosen to also extend some power to the Green Party, with an agreement to give them portfolios outside Cabinet.

Green co-leader James Shaw will remain as the Minister of Climate Change and will also become an associate minister for the environment, while co-leader Marama Davidson will hold the new prevention of family and sexual violence portfolio and associate housing.

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