New Zealand elects conservative prime minister after 6 years of leftist rule

On Saturday, New Zealand elected businessman Christopher Luxon of the National Party as its next prime minister after almost six years under the leftist Labour Party-controlled government largely led by Jacinda Ardern, who resigned from the position in January. 

In a press conference, Luxon said, "I'm very excited about the future for New Zealand, that's why I genuinely feel very optimistic about our path going forward." He added, "We are going to have some tough decisions, no doubt about it."

"We've got some really challenging realities to face up to, and when you do a turnaround you got to call the brutal facts of your reality clear and straight, then you put a plan together and you get yourself to a better place," Luxon added.  

According to Reuters, Luxon was the chief executive for Air New Zealand before taking over as the leader of the centre-right National Party in 2021. During his campaign, he promised to curb the country's high inflation rate and reduce the government's debt. 

In the press conference, he said, "I want to bring the country together, I want to actually make sure that we are focussed on delivering outcomes for New Zealanders." Luxon added, "I’m a person who likes to bring teams together and make sure that I get the best out of that team and use all the skills in that team, so that’s my mode."

Former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unexpectedly resigned in January after her popularity suffered after she placed Covid-19 restrictions that hurt the country's economy. At the time, she told the Associated Press that she no longer had "enough in the tank." 

Melissa Lee, the National Party candidate for Arden's old electorate seat in Mount Albert, told the outlet that it has belonged to “Labour since 1946” and “has been the biggest, safest Labour seat forever.” She added, “It would be fantastic if we won it.”


Image: Title: Christopher Luxon
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