New Zealand Elections 2020

Regional News • Oceania
Nanaia Mahuta named New Zealand's first Indigenous female foreign minister
Nanaia Mahuta named New Zealand's first Indigenous female foreign minister
Credit: New Zealand Labour Party., / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Nanaia Mahuta will be New Zealand's foreign affairs minister, the first woman and the first Indigenous woman to take that job. Jacinda Ardern promoted Mahuta, who has served as the country's first female member of parliament to wear a moko kauae, a traditional tattoo on her chin, for the past four years.

"I'm privileged to be able to lead the conversation in the foreign space," so Mahuta.

"This is a cabinet and an executive that is based on merit that also happens to be incredibly diverse and I am proud of that," Ardern said Monday.

Regional News • Oceania
Jacinda Ardern's party scores a landslide win in New Zealand's election
Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern Credit: Nevada Halbert (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won a second term after a landslide victory in the country's general election. Preliminary results show that Ardern's centre-left Labour Party has won 49% of the vote.

Saturday's result means the Labour Party is projected to win 64 out of 120 parliamentary seats, and be the first party in 24 years with a clear majority.

Regional News • Oceania
Legalizing of marijuana and euthanasia to be voted on in New Zealand
Legalizing of marijuana and euthanasia to be voted on in New Zealand
Credit: unsplash.com / Arnaud Jaegers

The citizens of New Zealand are set to vote on two social issues during the national elections that are set to happen on Sunday.

They can decide if recreational marijuana and euthanasia should be legalized in the country. Recent polls indicate that the outcome of the marijuana referendum remains uncertain while the euthanasia referendum is likely to pass.

Regional News • Oceania
Māori party wants to change New Zealand name to Aotearoa
New Zealand Maori rowing ceremonial coreography
New Zealand Maori rowing ceremonial coreography Credit: Jorge Royan (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

New Zealand's Māori Party stated Monday the country should be renamed "Aotearoa" by 2026, to better reflect the country's indigenous culture. Rawiri Waititi, a candidate Waiariki on next months' election was "a bold move towards making Te Reo Māori a language for all of Aotearoa".

Aotearoa means 'the land of white cloud' in the nation's indigenous language, also known as te reo.

Both English and Māori are official languages in New Zealand. The Maoris are the largest ethnic minatory, representing 16.5 per cent of the population.

Regional News • Oceania
New Zealand moves elections over new Covid-19 cases
New Zealand moves elections over new Covid-19 cases
Credit: Paasikivi (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The general elections in New Zealand have been postponed from the 19 September to the 17 October. Reason are the new Covid-19 cases and the extended lockdown for Auckland and the higehr alert in the remaining country.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that "this decision gives all parties enough time for their election campaign over the next nine weeks and the Election Commission enough time to ensure that the election can take place".

Regional News • Oceania
Poll: New Zealand Labour Party at record 60,9% approval rating before November election
PM Jacinda Ardern in 2017
PM Jacinda Ardern in 2017 Credit: Governor-General of New Zealand / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

The governing Labour Party lead by prime minister Jacinda Ardern has been polled at a record number of 60,9% approval according to the Newshub-Reid Research Poll. Jacinda Ardern herself stands currently at an approval rating of 62% to the question of the preferred prime minister with her contender Judith Collins from the National Party standing at only 14,6%.

During the past months, the approval ratings of the Labour party and Ardern herself have significantly improved which Ardern attributed to the governments' reaction to the pandemic: "I would like to think the message we can take from this is the general support for the government’s COVID-19 recovery and response plan".

New Zealand is set to hold the next election in November.