NEW ZEALAND: One of the World’s Most Diverse Parliament

New Zealand recently had elections and to no surpise Jacinda Ardern got re-elcted. The new cabinet formed on 1st November,2020 is making headlines as an incredibly diverse one. Of the 20 diverse ministers, eight are women, five are Maori, three are Pasifika and three are LGBT. Ardern added that individuals in her cabinet reflect what they bring to the table not who they are. 

She appointed Nanaia Mahuta, a first-ever indigenous lady that wears ‘Moko Kauae, a traditional Maori tattoo’ as the foreign minister, along with 20 diverse members. Ardern said that “Mahuta is someone who builds fantastic relationships very, very quickly and that is one of the key skill in a foreign roles affair.”

Another interesred cabinet pick is of Grant Robertson. Grant Robertson is the new deputy prime minister of New Zealand.   Robertson is the first gay to hold the position of deputy prime minister. Two of the newly appointed ministers, Ayesha Verrall and Kiri Allan are lesbians.

Nearly 1/5th of the OECD countries have female head of government, but New Zealand has the lead with 48% female legislature. An LGBTI newspaper, The Star Observer and News hub labelled the newly elected New Zealand Parliament as the “gayest” in the world as 13 of 120 members are gay.

But there is still a room for inclusivity as the largest minority is still not represented. 1 in 4 people in New Zealand have a disability as per the statistics. Jonny Wilkinson, a disability advocate has criticized that disabled are not represented in the Parliament.

Not everyone in the country is happy about the ‘new diverse parliament’ but Ardern believes that “It is both a cabinet with huge merit and talent, which also happens to be incredibly diverse.”

Written by: Versha Chaudhary