Jacinda Ardern has been officially announced as the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, after winning a leadership vote unanimously. Political commentator Ella Henry says that the move is a masterstroke and National have a fight on their hands in this year's election.
Ardern has been in parliament for the last nine years and has long been touted as a future leader for the party.
Peeni Henare says, “She represents the next generation for Labour.”
“I believe our ideas will bring in the younger voters,” says Ardern.
Political commentator Ella Henry says this is a great political move.
Henry says, “I think Jacinda Ardern is a very powerful strategic move on the part of Labour. She will certainly attract a different demographic. She's young, she's attractive, she's Auckland, she's intelligent, she's got a great heart if you listen to her speak. So they are really taking on National.”
But she is wary of what is ahead.
Henry says, “She's totally untested and untried, and let's face it- politics is brutal. So how she copes with the cut and thrust of that now that she's in this prominent role will be the making of her.”
However Ardern's elevation to deputy leader represents another leadership pairing devoid of any Māori genealogy. Nanaia Mahuta and Shane Jones both went for the top job in recent years but both came in last in their respective races.
Kelvin Davis is the highest Māori MP on the list. His colleague Peeni Henare says that in time his friend may yet be in one of the top two positions.