NEW Zealand’s shock election outcome after extended negotiations has drawn political comparisons to the hung parliament in Australia, where conservative rural MPs elected to go against the norm and side with Labor to form government.
On Facebook, NSW Nationals Senator John “Wacka” Williams warned about the potential outcomes of the new political paradigm across the Tasman, with a contrast to the Gillard government of 2010-2013.
“The New Zealand situation with Labour going into power reminds me of Australia in 2010 when the Coalition won 73 seats and Labor 72 and Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott put Labor into government,” he said.
“Look how that turned out.”
One of the Senator’s Facebook followers posted, “I have a feeling New Zealand is staring down the barrel of an absolute shemozzle”.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters elected to back Labour to form a coalition government after a month of tense talks and considerations with the two major parties; despite the previous ruling National Party winning the majority of votes on polling day.
The result has also empowered 37 year-old Jacinda Ardern to be appointed as NZ’s third female prime minister, and one of the youngest leaders in history.
“We aspire to be a government for all New Zealanders and one that will seize the opportunity to build a fairer, better New Zealand,” she said.
The New Zealand Labour Party has been a focal point of political attack in Australia recently after Foreign Affairs Minister Julia Bishop accused them of colluding with the local Labor party to reveal Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s dual citizenship breach which has resulted in the High Court testing his constitutional eligibility for parliament, where a result is anticipated in coming days.
Mr Windsor weighed into the NZ election result on Twitter by drawing his own comparisons between the new government and Mr Joyce’s dual citizenship issues, but saying the outcome was “called democracy”.
Breaking : Northern development fund announces infrastructure spending in North island of New Zealand .— Tony Windsor (@TonyHWindsor) October 19, 2017
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he spoke to Ms Ardern last night and congratulated her and also spoke to former NZ PM Bill English to pass on his commiserations.
“Bill has done an outstanding job in a short time as Prime Minister but of course, he was John Key’s Treasurer for a long time,” he said.
“The National Government there has done an outstanding job in restoring New Zealand’s economic fortunes.
“I’ve got no doubt we will work together as effectively and confidentially and constructively as Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers have done, from different political persuasions across the ditch for generations.
“Prime Ministers come and go, political parties come and go but the enduring friendship, the alliance, the bonds between Australia and New Zealand are so close.
Mr Turnbull however did not say if Ms Bishop needed to apologise for her accusations regarding the background to Mr Joyce‘s citizenship issues.
“I think there was some political activity in New Zealand which Jacinda Ardern deplored and she regretted,” he said.
When pushed for an answer, Mr Turnbull agreed no apology was necessary and said “you’re better off not scratching away at past political episodes”.
“I’m looking forward to a great relationship with the new government, as I’m sure she is committed, I had a very good discussion with her last night,” he said.
But Labor power-broker Penny Wong said the incident was a “deeply regrettable lapse in judgment by Julie Bishop”.
“It was an attempt to divert attention from the citizenship crisis surrounding Mr Joyce and she publicly declared as Foreign Minister that she couldn’t trust a future New Zealand Labour Government,” she said.
“She said that ‘Should there be a change of government, I would find it very hard to build trust with those involved’.
“That was a most unwise decision by Julie Bishop and what Labor does look to is the Foreign Minister of Australia, Ms Bishop, outlining the steps she is going to take to move away from those remarks and rebuild relations with the new government of New Zealand.
“We have had such a longstanding kinship with them and I hope that the Foreign Minister, that Julie Bishop, does set about repairing the damage her remarks did cause.”
Labor powerbroker and Shadow Regional Development Minister, Anthony Albanese said Ms Ardern would make “an outstanding Prime Minister”.
“I met her and indeed I addressed the New Zealand Labour Party caucus just about 18 months ago and they have some outstanding people,” he said.
“They are ready to govern and I think Julie Bishop has used the word 'congratulations' for the new New Zealand Prime Minister and she needs to say one more word, in my view, show that she is big enough and say 'sorry'.
“She should do it.
“When you commit an error, say sorry and then you move on.
“That's the way we deal with things as adults.”
Mr Albanese also said Ms Ardern was “tough”.
“She's shown that, over what has been a remarkable rise to prominence in politics from being a relatively junior frontbencher in the New Zealand Labour Party to being the Prime Minister of New Zealand, so I don't think she'll lie awake at night worried about Julie Bishop and whether she says sorry or not,” he said.
“It was a really juvenile performance frankly from Julie Bishop on that occasion trying to accuse somehow the New Zealand Labour Party of being responsible for what is purely the responsibility of Barnaby Joyce himself to not have his house in order.
“I mean, it's no accident that there are no Labor or Liberal party parliamentarians before the High Court at the moment.
“They're from the minor parties, be it the National Party, the Greens Party or Nick Xenophon or One Nation.”