WELLINGTON, Nov. 24 (CGTN) – New Zealand's National Party, ACT New Zealand and New Zealand First signed an agreement on Friday to form a new coalition government with populist NZ First leader Winston Peters taking on the role of foreign minister.
The three parties said in a statement that Peters and ACT's David Seymour would share the role of deputy prime minister with Peters taking the first year and a half of the parliamentary term, with Seymour taking on the second half of the three-year term.
The new government will ease the cost of living and deliver tax relief, restore law and order, and deliver better public services, National's leader and incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said during the signing ceremony at the parliament.
The 20-strong cabinet will have 14 National ministers, three ACT ministers and three NZ First ministers. National's deputy leader Nicola Willis will be the finance minister.
Seymour, who will take on the newly created role of regulation minister to assess the quality of new and existing regulations, said the country had been going in the wrong direction under the previous liberal government, with prices and crime rising, and society becoming too divided.
"We must now draw a line under that and work to ensure New Zealanders have hope that a government can, indeed, deliver better public services and return for their hard-earned taxes," Seymour said.
The National Party won the general election on October 14, with the Labor Party pushed out after six years in office. However, with no party winning a majority of seats, the formation of a new government depended on the outcome of inter-party negotiations to form a coalition government.
New Zealand uses the Mixed Member Proportional voting system to elect its parliament. Under this system, the government is usually formed by two or more parliamentary political parties.
Photo from CGTN