Former Cabinet Office civil servant Jacinda Ardern becomes prime minister of New Zealand

Former policy advisor at the Better Regulation Executive becomes PM at head of coalition government


By Richard Johnstone

19 Oct 2017

Jacinda Ardern at the University of Aukland last month Credit: Ulysse Bellier/Flickr

Jacinda Ardern, a former Cabinet Office civil servant, is to become the new prime minister of New Zealand at the head of a coalition government following elections in September.

Ardern, who led New Zealand's Labour Party for only three months prior to the election, will become the country's youngest prime minister since 1856.

She has been a member of the New Zealand parliament since 2008, but prior to this she worked in the UK civil service, including two and half years from 2006 to 2008 as associate director of the Better Regulation Executive, which at the time was a joint Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and Cabinet Office unit.


Her Labour Party biography states that her role as an associate director at the BRE involved improving the way local authorities, in particular, interfaced with business.

Her Whitehall career also saw her seconded to the Home Office to assist with a review of policing in England and Wales.

Twenty-six days of negotiations followed the inconclusive results of last month's poll. Ardern's coalition government is created with the support of the New Zealand First party, adding its nine seats to the 54 the held by the Labour Party/Green bloc. The National Party won 56 seats.

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