Politics

New Zealand’s new conservative government promises to ‘restore law and order’

Sydney, Australia, Nov 24 (EFE).- The leader of the conservative National Party of New Zealand, Cristopher Luxon, who won the Oct. 14 elections, announced on Friday the formation of his new coalition government with one of its priorities being to “restore law and order.”

“Our government will rebuild the economy to ease the cost of living, and deliver tax relief to increase the prosperity of all New Zealanders,” Luxon announced in Wellington, public broadcaster Radio New Zealand reported.

“Our government will restore law and order and personal responsibility so that Kiwis are safer in their own communities,” he added.

Luxon said the parties planned to “rewrite the Arms Act,” following provisions to reform gun control introduced in 2020 in the wake of the supremacist attack in Christchurch in 2019, and agreed to train no fewer than 500 new police.

The agreement to form a coalition government was announced on Thursday, 41 days after the elections’ results opened the way to intense negotiations – considered the second longest in the Oceania country – with no party securing an absolute majority required to govern.

It is the first time in New Zealand’s history that three parties have formed a coalition, meaning they will all have representatives in the cabinet.

The National Party will hold 14 portfolios in the new 20-member cabinet while the two coalition partners – the nationalist New Zealand First party and the right-liberal ACT New Zealand -, will hold three each.

Winston Peters, leader of New Zealand First, will be deputy prime minister during the first half of the government’s three year term while David Seymour, leader of ACT, will take over in the second half.

Peters will also be foreign minister, a post he held during the first Labor government of Jacinda Ardern (2017-2020) when he was also deputy prime minister, while Seymour will be minister for regulation.

Meanwhile, the deputy leader of the National Party, Nicola Willis, will be the finance minister while the conservative Judith Collins will head the defense portfolio, said Luxon, who will also be minister for national security and intelligence.

In the Oct. 14 general elections, the conservative National Party won more seats than the Labor Party – in power for the last six years – but failed to secure an absolute majority (48 of 122 seats).

Luxon’s party had sought support from New Zealand First (eight seats) and ACT New Zealand (11 seats) to form a coalition government.

The new government is scheduled to take office after being sworn in on Monday. EFE

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