By Felix Desmarais
Hundreds of people gathered on the lawns of Parliament in the capital this afternoon to welcome the 52nd New Zealand Government.
This comes after the new government was sworn in at Government House by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy earlier this morning.
Addressing the jubilant crowd of nearly 500 people today, New Zealand’s new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, said the new Labour-NZ First government would be a government for all New Zealanders.
“We vow, regardless of who you voted for, regardless of where in Aotearoa New Zealand you live, this will be a government for all New Zealanders.”
Ardern said the new government believes New Zealand is a place where everyone deserves a decent job with decent wages and where everyone should be able to access the healthcare they need, when they need it.
Ardern’s speech was met with cheers and applause from the crowd, which she closed with, “Let’s go and do this,” a play on the Labour campaign slogan “Let’s do this”.
Green voter Maria Williams told Massive Magazine she has been hoping for change since her first election in 2008.
“I did not think this was going to happen so I’m really excited about it,” she said.
Former Cabinet Minister Trevor Mallard said that Ardern will now be getting a sense of “the enormity of the task,” but that she has a grip on reality.
Asked about the challenges of coalition, he said, “as long as both sides are open and consistent then it will work really well… you can see already a high level of trust has been established”.
He also had some advice to new ministers.
“Keep looking at alternative ways of doing things, be very careful not to be railroaded but also to accept that some of their ideas might need a little bit of adjustment to work well.”
Labour MP Louisa Wall says Ardern’s speech was amazing.
“We’re all servants of the people… every single person in this country deserves to be heard and listened to.
“Jacinda’s already miles ahead. The optimism and the excitement that she’s brought is really special.”