Following the shock announcement this morning by Andrew Little to stand down from the NZ Labour leadership, Jacinda Ardern has been appointed the new leader of the party. Ardern gave her first press conference as leader today, alongside her new deputy, Kelvin Davis.
“The circumstances may not be what Labour has planned for this campaign, but that has not weakened my resolve or my focus or my team’s resolve,” said Ardern. “We are determined and steadfast. I consider myself incredibly lucky to now call myself leader and equally fortunate to work alongside someone as committed and talented as Kelvin and the rest of our team.”
Ardern has promised that her new team is about to run “the campaign of our lives.” “We know and see every single day that as a country we can do better than this. We can be better than this.” Ardern has said that she will take 72 hours to take stock before making major announcements relating to her party.
Ardern outlined the key pillars which her new administration will focus on including housing, free education, alleviating child poverty and building New Zealand’s reputation as a world leader on environmental issues.
The federal election is due to be held just over 50 days away. It is unsure whether this late change in leadership will help the Labour Party get over the line. Two external polls put the party on record lows of 24 per cent, while Labour’s own polling shows 23 per cent.