The National Party won the New Zealand election, winning enough seats to form a coalition with its centre-right allies. The opposition party’s leader, Chris Luxon, was named prime minister.
Luxon, 53, said it was a “tremendous privilege” to wake up on Sunday as New Zealand’s incoming prime minister as he plans talks to form a new coalition government.
Voters ended the six-year rule of the Labor government on Saturday when Luxon’s conservative National Party won enough seats to govern in a coalition with the liberal ACT Party.
The leader of the Labor government, Chris Hipkins, who replaced Jacinda Ardern as prime minister in January, conceded defeat after his party lost almost half of their number of seats from the previous 2020 election.
Luxon addressed the media in an All Black jersey on Sunday.
“It’s a good start to the day when you have a national government and you have the All Blacks winning again,” he told reporters.
Luxon, a former airline executive who entered politics in 2019, can only take over as prime minister after the final election results are announced on November 3.
“It is a tremendous privilege,” he replied as the incoming prime minister. “I entered politics with a view to making a contribution to New Zealand, unfortunately because we are not realizing our potential. That’s why I feel very optimistic about our way forward.”
Luxon said he was planning a strategy meeting Sunday before coalition talks.
In their first 100 days, the National Party promised changes such as a ban on mobile phones in schools, a crackdown on crime and the lifting of planned fuel tax increases.
With New Zealand in a cost of living crisis and crime rates on the rise, Luxon admitted he would have to make “some tough decisions”.
The National Party made a clean sweep at the polls, but some big names also lost their seats.
Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta (53) has ceded her Hauraki-Waikato seat to 21-year-old Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke of the Te Pati Maori Party. Maipi-Clarke will become New Zealand’s youngest MP in 170 years.
Michael Wood, who resigned as transport minister in June after failing to declare shares in Auckland Airport, said his Mt. Lost Roskill seat to national candidate Carlos Cheung.