New Zealand’s new PM Chris Luxon takes office

New Zealand’s new PM Chris Luxon takes office

Christopher Luxon, the former CEO of Air New Zealand and Unilever Canada, has become New Zealand’s 42nd prime minister. He leads a coalition government of the National Party, ACT, and NZ First, which defeated Labour in a tight election.

Luxon, who took over the National Party leadership a year ago, ran on a platform of economic recovery, tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and law and order. He also pledged to review the Covid-19 response and vaccination programme, and to strengthen the country’s ties with Australia, the US, and the UK.

Luxon’s coalition partners, ACT and NZ First, have secured several ministerial portfolios and policy concessions in exchange for their support. ACT leader David Seymour will be the deputy prime minister and finance minister, while NZ First leader Winston Peters will be the foreign minister and minister for national security and intelligence. Some of the key policies agreed by the coalition include a referendum on euthanasia, a royal commission on child poverty, and a review of the electoral system.

Luxon was sworn in as prime minister at Government House in Wellington, where he was greeted by Governor-General Cindy Kiro and outgoing prime minister Chris Hipkins. Luxon thanked Hipkins for his service and said he looked forward to working with him in a constructive opposition. He also thanked his family, his party, and his coalition partners for their trust and support.

Luxon said he was humbled and honoured to be the prime minister of New Zealand, and vowed to lead a government that would deliver for all New Zealanders. He said his priorities would be to rebuild the economy, create jobs, improve public services, and protect the environment. He also said he would uphold the values of democracy, freedom, and human rights, and work with New Zealand’s allies and partners to promote peace and security in the region and the world.

Luxon is expected to announce his cabinet line-up later this week, and to deliver his first speech in parliament next week. He will also meet with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison in Canberra for his first official visit as prime minister. .