11 July 2024

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday she will announce her new government on Monday after offering the Green Party two ministerial portfolios outside of cabinet as part of a proposed cooperation agreement.

Ardern delivered earlier this month the biggest election victory for her centre-left Labour Party in half a century. Although she no longer needs support to govern, coalitions are the norm in New Zealand as parties look to build consensus.

Under the agreement offered to the Green Party – one of Ardern government’s coalition partners prior to the election – the two portfolios would be held by the Green Party’s co-leaders.

James Shaw would be minister for climate change and would be associate environment minister, while Marama Davidson would become the minister for the prevention of family and sexual violence.

“On election night I said I wanted to govern for all New Zealanders and to reach as wide consensus on key issues as possible,” Ardern said at a televised news conference. “This agreement does that.”

In return, Ardern said, the Greens would not oppose the government on confidence and supply votes. They would also support Labour on procedural motions in the parliament.

The Green Party would be able to take their own position on issues not covered by the ministerial portfolios and areas of co-operation.

The cooperation deal could still be rejected by the Green Party membership who were to vote on it on Saturday, but Ardern said she would announce the composition of the government on Monday regardless of the Green Party’s decision.