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Jacinda Ardern Praised For Picking First Māori Foreign Minister And Openly Gay Deputy PM

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Jacinda Ardern Praised For Picking First Māori Foreign Minister And Openly Gay Deputy PM

Jacinda Ardern has been praised after unveiling what she called an 'incredibly diverse' cabinet following her landslide election win last month.

Among those appointed to the PM's cabinet include New Zealand's first openly gay Deputy Prime Minister and a Foreign Minister with a Māori facial tattoo.

Nanaia Mahuta was appointed the role of Minister of Foreign Affairs; the nation's first Indigenous woman to hold the position, while Grant Robertson was picked as Deputy PM, making him the first openly gay person to hold the role.

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Upon revealing the news, Ardern said: "I am excited by this team. They bring experience from the ground, and from within politics. But they also represent renewal and reflect the New Zealand we live in today."

Ardern herself made history when being elected as the country's 40th PM in 2017, becoming the world's youngest female head of government when elected at the age of 37.

She said of her cabinet members: "It is both a cabinet with huge merit and talent, which also happens to be incredibly diverse. I think it's an important point to make - these are individuals who have been promoted for what they bring to the cabinet, they also reflect the New Zealand that elected them."

According to NPR, New Zealand's population of 4.8 million people are 'represented by 120 elected members of parliament. At the moment, more than half of those representatives are women and about 10% are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.'

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Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University, told Reuters last month he believed that New Zealand's parliament is the most diverse in the country's history in terms of gender, ethnic and indigenous representation.

"What we have seen is a departure of many of the older, male, white MPs including some who have been in parliament for over 30 years," he said.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, Politics

Jessica Lynch
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