Ardern bets on diversity in cabinet with Maori and LGTB+

Sydney, Australia, Nov 6 (efe-epa).- With five ministers of Maori ethnicity and three heads of the LGTB + community, the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her diverse cabinet were sworn in Friday into office for a three-year term.

Ardern, whose party won with an absolute majority in the Oct. 17 elections, said during the ceremony in Wellington before the Governor General, Patsy Reddy, representative of Queen Elizabeth II, that her ministers “represent New Zealand-Aotearoa,” in reference to the Maori name of the country, and assured they “will rule for all New Zealanders.”

Nanaia Mahuta, an expert in social anthropology and who wears a moko kauae – a traditional Maori tattoo on her chin – she was sworn in as head of New Zealand diplomacy in her native language, the first woman to be head of the foreign office.

So did Grant Robertson, who becomes the first politician to be openly gay to serve as New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister, in addition to holding the Finance portfolio, to which he was appointed in 2017 during Ardern’s first term.

Other Maori representatives such as Peeni Henari, in Defense, and of the Pacific Islands, Carmel Sepuloni, in Social Development were also sworn in; and Kris Faafoi Justice and Immigration.

Likewise, Priyanca Radhakrishnan became the first Indian-born woman to assume a government portfolio in New Zealand, while Maori Marama Davison and James Shaw, co-leaders of the Green Party, take over the ministries related to housing and the environment.

Ardern and Labor could govern alone after sweeping the elections and adding 65 of the 120 seats in parliament, according to official data published Friday, but she chose to maintain her coalition with the Greens, who won 10 deputies.

Of the total of the 20 members of the Cabinet of Ardern, world reference of the progressive sectors, 40 percent are women; While 25 percent represent the Maori ethnic group, another 15 percent come from the Pacific Islands and 15 percent belong to the LGTB + community.

Of New Zealand’s population of more than 5 million, 45 percent are female and 3.5 percent identify with the diverse sexual community, while 16 percent are Maori, 8.1 percent. cent is from the Pacific Islands. EFE-EPA


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