Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern swept to an emphatic victory in New Zealand’s general election and said she would use her mandate to rebuild an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic and tackle social inequality.
Voters are rewarding Ardern for crushing community transmission of Covid-19 while countries like the U.K., U.S. and even neighboring Australia are still battling to contain the virus.
“Over the next three years there is much work to do,” she told supporters Saturday night in Auckland. “We will build back better from the Covid crisis. We have the mandate to accelerate our response and our recovery.”
Ardern, 40, has captured the hallowed center ground in New Zealand politics with a blend of empathetic leadership and skilled crisis management that has also won her fame abroad. Her successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated those strengths, drowning out criticism that she hasn’t delivered on some key promises during her first term in office.
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