New Zealand elects most diverse parliament boosting female, LGBTIQ+ and Māori MPs

The Guardian-3 months before

The ruling Labour party was handed a resounding mandate on Saturday as voters rewarded prime minister Jacinda Ardern for her decisive response to Covid-19.

resounding mandate Although Ardern has the numbers to govern alone, she is in talks with her former ally, the Green Party, to build a wider consensus.

.../www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/19/why-new-zealand-rejected-populist-ideas-other-nations-have-embraced"> Labour won 64 of the 120 parliamentary seats, and more than half of those are female candidates. The Labour contingent also has 16 Māori MPs, an expanded group with Pacific islands heritage, the first MP of African origin, Ibrahim Omar, and Vanushi Walters, who is of Sri Lankan origin.

“This is the most diverse parliament we have ever had in terms of gender, and minority ethnic and indigenous representation,” said Prof Paul Spoonley from the college of humanities and social sciences at Massey University.

Around 10% of the members in the 120-seat house identify as from the LGBTQ+ community, likely making it the most diverse parliament in the world. This includes prominent leaders such as finance minister Grant Robertson.

The Green party won as many as 10 seats in parliament and a majority of them are women, indigenous leaders or LGBTQ+.

The majority of the new MPs elected into parliament are also much younger than previously and many of them are millennials, Spoonley said. The parliament

“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,” said Spoonley.

Ardern herself arrived onto the global scene in 2017 when she became the world’s youngest female head of government at the age of 37.

The 40-year-old is feted globally as a progressive leader, who is a champion for woman’s rights, equality and inclusivity.

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