New Zealand’s Ardern taps LGBT, Maori MPs for trailblazing cabinet

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11/02/2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unveiled what she called an “incredibly diverse” cabinet Monday that includes New Zealand’s first openly gay deputy prime minister and a foreign minister with a Maori facial tattoo. The centre-left leader revamped her ministerial line-up in the wake of a landslide election victory, saying her second-term priorities were responding to Covid-19 and promoting economic recovery. Ardern appointed Grant Robertson as deputy prime minister, making him the first openly gay person to hold the role. Women and the Maori community are also strongly represented in the 20-member cabinet, including new Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, who has a moko kauae — a traditional female Maori tattoo on the chin. While expressing pride at her cabinet’s diversity, Ardern also said appointments were made on merit.

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