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New Zealand forms govt under newcomer

WELLINGTON: New Zealand is set for a centre-left coalition government led by Labour head Jacinda Ardern. Ms Ardern has been opposition leader for the last three months. At 37, she is set to be the country’s youngest prime minister since 1856. Her Labour Party came second in September’s election, where no party was able to secure a majority. They are now tipped for power after the small New Zealand First party agreed to join them in government. The new coalition will also be supported by the Green Party. She said the government would work hard to deliver on its campaign promises, and that New Zealand First would have four cabinet positions and one parliamentary under-secretary. Correspondents say the new coalition is likely to mean a significant cut to immigration quotas and new controls on foreign ownership of property. Bill English became prime minister in 2016 when his predecessor John Key unexpectedly resigned. He had promised voters experience and reliable economic management.–Agencies

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