NIKKEI Asia October 17, 2020 17:08 and Updated 22:30 JST|POLITICS|”New Zealand’s Ardern eyes COVID rebound after landslide reelection. “Unprecented performance gives Labour Party enough seats to govern alone.” By David Brooks.
Image Credit nbc.com
“Jacinda Ardern’s center-left Labour Party will lead New Zealand’s government for a second term following elections on Saturday, in which voters rewarded her administration’s success in combating the COVID-19 pandemic”-an effort that locked down the country of 5,000,000 from March 2020. The margin is sufficient, for the first time since 1996, to rule without needing “the support of minor parties.” Labour captured nearly 50%, for 64 of 120 parliament seats, followed by National with about 26%, 35 seats, ACT <10%, 10 seats, Green <10%, 10 seats and Other <10%.
In her victory speech she noted the unique time in history and added “much work to do” and “We will build back stronger from coronavirus.” They went more than 100 days without any new COVID-19 cases and no “new community cases have been reported since late September.” In total they have had 25 COVID-19 deaths. The National Party leader Judith Collins acknowledged, in her concession speak, that New Zealand is headed for a “tough economic ride.” She vowed “National will re-emerge from this loss a stronger, disciplined and more connected party.”
Detail on the economy: The GDP for the quarter ending June was down 12.2% but a rebound is expected with most COVID restrictions past the “economy kicked back into life.” Tourism the key foreign income source is “hobbled by a border that is almost entirely closed…”. Government debt has increased from <20% of GDP to 27.6% in June and is “projected to rise to 53.5% over the coming four years.” Arden noted…”we have the mandate to accelerate our response and our recovery and tomorrow we start.”