Home Economy The key players in New Zealand’s new government

The key players in New Zealand’s new government

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KERIN GEDGE-UNSPLASH

WELLINGTON – New Zealand’s National Party, ACT New Zealand and New Zealand First Friday signed a coalition agreement and will be sworn in as the 54th government on Monday.

Here are some facts on the major players in the new government.

CHRISTOPHER LUXON, PRIME MINISTER AND NATIONAL PARTY LEADER

A former Air New Zealand chief executive, who also held senior roles at global consumer goods firm Unilever, Luxon has only been in politics for three years and became leader of the center-right National Party at the end of 2021.

A 53-year-old father of two, Mr. Luxon has said he will bring the same skills he bought to business to improving New Zealand, reducing government debt and bringing down inflation.

In a country where almost half the people say they have no religion, Mr. Luxon has faced scrutiny for saying he was Christian and has defended stances such as personally opposing abortion.

WINSTON PETERS, LEADER OF NEW ZEALAND FIRST, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER UNTIL MAY 31, 2025, FOREIGN MINISTER

A colorful, populist figure, the 78-year-old Mr. Peters will take the mantle of foreign minister for the third time having held the role in both the 2005 and 2017 governments.

Mr. Peters is credited during this tenure for helping in the thawing of relationships between US and New Zealand, which had been strained by New Zealand’s nuclear free policy and then a decision not to support the US invasion of Iraq.

During his most recent stint, Mr. Peters launched a “Pacific Reset” to woo neighboring pacific countries and significantly boosted the country’s foreign aid budget.

DAVID SEYMOUR, ACT NEW ZEALAND LEADER, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER FROM MAY 31, 2025, MINISTER OF REGULATION

In parliament since 2014, Mr. Seymour was behind the law change in New Zealand to legalize euthanasia, voted in favor of legalizing abortion in 2020 and attended a pro-Hong Kong democracy protest in Auckland in 2019.

His newly created ministerial role will look after the Minister of Regulation, which is being set up to assess the quality of new and existing regulation.

NICOLA WILLIS, FINANCE MINISTER, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE NATIONAL PARTY

Ms. Willis has been National’s finance spokesperson since 2022 and its deputy leader since 2021.

Ms. Willis has had a number of testy exchanges with the current Reserve Bank of New Zealand governor Adrian Orr at select committee meetings. She said in 2022 publicly she was appalled when Orr was reappointed as governor without a review but has since said the National Party will work with any governor.

Prior to entering parliament in 2017, the mother of four worked in a number of senior roles including at dairy giant Fonterra Co-Operative Group.

Reuters

Jino Nicolas




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