Her cabinet, which will take the oath on Friday, will focus on helping the nation recover from the coronavirus pandemic. It consists of 20 people, five of whom are Maori, native of New Zealand, making up more than 16 percent of the nation’s population. The eight cabinet members are women.
They included Nanaia Mahuta, who would hold the position of foreign minister, becoming the first woman to do so in New Zealand history. She was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1996 and has also served as Maori development minister and local government. In the new role, she will replace Winston Peters, who lost this year̵7;s reelection.
“She is the one who builds great relationships very quickly and that’s one of the key jobs in a foreign affairs role,” says Ardern. “You just have to look at the hard work she has done, such as her local government directory, and that to me demonstrates the diplomatic skills we need to master. represents New Zealand on the world stage. ”
Mahuta made history in the New Zealand Parliament. Four years ago, she began wearing moko kauae, a traditional Maori chin tattoo, becoming the first woman to do so while being a legislator.
“Moko is a statement of identity, like a passport,” she told the Guardian in 2016. “I am at a point where I am ready to clearly state that this is who I am, and this is what I am. is my position in New Zealand. “
On Monday, Mahuta said she hopes “many other Maori, mixed-origin women across New Zealand will see this as a ceiling lift again for sectors that have been so heavily closed to them. I am about career opportunities, ”reported TVNZ1, a New Zealand television channel.
Three Pacific Island heritage lawmakers and three members of the LGBTQ community will now also serve in Ardern’s cabinet, according to the Guardian. Finance Minister Grant Robertson, who will serve as deputy prime minister, will be the first openly gay person to hold that office.
Ardern said he will also oversee “important portfolios that focus on… economic recovery”.
After winning the election last month, Ardern began his winning speech with a greeting in Te Reo Maori. In September, she said that if she was elected, she would name Tet Maori the national holiday.
“We are very pleased with the level of representation that we have,” said the New Zealand Herald, Maori deputy head of Labor Kelvin Davis. “Maoridom has been looking for representation for 160 years – this government has Maoridom’s interest in his heart.”
However, he said, “there’s a lot more work to be done.”
“One of the great things about New Zealand is that we are often in a space where all of these questions are present,” Ardern said on Monday. [about diversity] often becomes secondary ”.
“The representation is there,” she added. “And that is not the first consideration.”