Christopher Luxon, Conservative and former businessmen will be New Zealand’s next prime minister after winning a decisive election victory Saturday and is ready to form a coalition with the libertarian ACT Party.The change comes after six years of a liberal government led by Jacinda Ardern,mostly.The proper makeup of Luxon’s Government is yet to be determined since the ballots are being counted.
Luxon said that he was humbled by the victory and couldn’t wait to start his new job. He also thanked people from across the country saying that they have reached for hope and voted for change.
His election campaign slogan was getting the country back on track.
Jacinda Ardern stepped down as Prime Minister in January unexpectedly, saying that she no longer had ‘enough in the tank’ to do the job justice. Having won the election in a landslide last time, her popularity had wanted after Covid-19 as tiredness towards Covid-19 restrictions and inflation threatened the economy.
After her departure Chris Hipkins took over the job. He had led the response to the Coronavirus pandemic and was formerly educational minister. Chris Hipkins, outgoing Prime Minister told supporters late Saturday he had called Luxon to concede.He had taken over the office in January for just nine months.Though this is not the result he wanted. He asked people to be proud of what they have achieved in the six years.He said in an event in Wellington.
Situation of the polls
Mr. Luxon’s National Party had about 40% of the vote. Under New Zealand’s proportional voting system,he would be forming a coalition with the ACT party.
The Labour Party led by Mr.Hipkins got around 25 percent of the vote. This is a little over half of what the party gained last time under Ardern.Still thousands of votes are to be counted,which account for 20 percent of the total. The National and Labour Party would also be in a tight race for Ardern’s old electorate seat, Mount Albert. This seat has long been held by Helen Clark, former Labour Prime Minister. Nanaia Mahuta, the foreign minister, is among those who would lose their seats.
The National Party candidate for the seat of Mount Alberta,Melissa Lee, said that she was feeling excited but also nervous about the final result in Mount Albert,and said that it would be fantastic if they won it.
According to Lee, after door-knocking people they had told her they were tired of the current government and were concerned with the state of the economy and the spiralling cost of living.
There was a good chance that Labour would end up holding the seat once all the votes were counted,said David Farrar, a long time pollist from Labour Conservative.
Luxon is a married father of two adult children .He was born in Christchurch, on New Zealand’s South Island, Auckland is where he grew up,and attended state schools. He first gained a Master of Commerce degree at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch and then joined the multinational firm Unilever. After working for 18 years for the company in Australia, Britain, Canada and the US, he returned to New Zealand to lead Air NZ.
He is a former Air New Zealand Chief Executive, millionaire and Christian by faith and Nationalist Party Leader.
He would now be judged as his ability to deliver relief as there is almost a singular focus on living costs.
Luxon had said that regardless of ethnicity, and whether anyones family arrived generations ago, or are new migrants they all share an interest in living in a safe, stable country that celebrates fairness and wants the very best for every New Zealander. The government led by him would restore law and order,and restore personal responsibility.
He promised to fix the capital’s gridlocked traffic with a new tunnel project.
Relatively he is new to politics but has helped his own during televised debates, against Hipkins who is much more experienced,according to political observers. However he has been made fun of on Social media for having been out of touch with New Zealand and its people.
Elections in New Zealand are not presidential, the party in government is selected by the voters,with the leaders of the name absent from ballot papers. New Zealanders have opted for a wealthy former corporate leader managerial approach, as they did when John Key, a former banker and National leader, won the premiership in 2008.
Changes to be made in New Zealand
Tax cuts for middle-income earners and a crackdown on crime have been promised by Mr.Luxon. Free dental care for people younger than 30 and the removal of sales taxes on fruit and vegetables, is also promised by Mr.Hipkins.
Indigenous Māori and their relationship with the government is also at stake. Luxon has promised to take up the Māori Health Authority, which according to him creates two separate health systems. Hipkin said he’s proud of the co-governance efforts and having accused Mr. Luxon of condoning racism. Mr. Hipkins had to himself deal with a crisis after deadly floods and then a cyclone hit New Zealand,after taking the office in January .He promised a back to basics approach focused on tackling the spiralling cost of living after having quickly jettisoned some of Ardern’s more contentious policies.
Early voting before Election Day was lower than in recent elections.Warm spring weather in the largest city of Auckland encouraged voters, seeing queues forming outside some polling places.
Both Mr. Hipkins and Mr. Luxon travelled the country and hammered it up for the cameras, during the six weeks election campaign.New Zealanders are going to wake up to not only the promise of a new day, but the promise of a new government and a new direction,said Mr.Luxon.