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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has offered Greens a ‘cooperation agreement’ with the Labour-led government.
A strong and stable government was and is needed to recover safely from COVID-19 the PM said.
The policy and experience of the Greens could contribute to the Labour government in environment and bio-diversity meaning Hon James Shaw will be appointed to the position of Minister of Climate Change and be an Associate Minister for the Environment (Biodiversity).
Marama Davidson would be the Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence and be an associate Minister of Housing with a focus on homelessness.
The Leader of the Labour Party Jacinda Ardern and the Green Party Co-leaders will meet every six weeks to monitor progress against the areas of cooperation set out in this agreement.
“Last term Green MP Jan Logie lead the work on family and sexual violence as an undersecretary, and it is an important phase of implementation,” said PM Jacinda Ardern.
“It’s also my strong belief that this is an area that should be a ministerial portfolio in its own right and so that is what we are doing.”
The proposed co-operation agreement will be reflecting another evolution in New Zealand’s system of MMP.
“Never before has a party won a majority under MMP but that is not to say the principles of MMP should be ignored — furthermore it is also simply not how I do politics. I think that this agreement strikes the right balance of the parties working on issues where there is an agreement allowing space for disagreement and independence delivering this continuity and predictability in key policy areas especially climate policy,” said PM Jacinda Ardern.
It is now in the ‘hands’ for Green members as to whether or not all parties in the Greens support the cooperation agreement and that outcome will be confirmed later today.
In the week ahead, there is a reference in the agreement around where the intention of Labour as a government to work with political parties across parliament on issues affecting New Zealand’s democracy.
The democracy is not specific to Greens and Labour but to work with opposition parties on that area also.
It includes the Electoral Commissions 2012 recommended changes to MMP, changes to electoral finance law and the length of the parliamentary term.
“These are issues that came up in the lead up to and during the election, and I intend to follow through on that; I believe that the current parliament is uniquely positioned to address these long term issues and find consensus on them and judging from recent public comment, there appears to be an appetite across parliament to take action on at least some of these issues,” said PM Jacinda Ardern.
In the week ahead, on Monday, PM Jacinda Ardern will name the new cabinet.
“I will do that regardless of the decision by green members on the cooperation on outline today. Ministers will be formally sworn in next Friday at government house, and the first cabinet meeting will occur that afternoon,” said PM Jacinda Ardern.
Ardern will be doing a speech next week to set the new governments priorities through to the end of this year, in particular, actions that the government will take to accelerate the economic recovery and continue to keep New Zealand and New Zealander’s safe from COVID-19.