Less than three months ago Jacinda Ardern preoccupied by home renovations – said the only way she would ever lead New Zealand’s Labour party would be if her entire caucus was hit by a bus and she was the ‘designated survivor’.
Now she finds herself about to take office as New Zealand’s third female prime minister and its youngest leader for 150 years.
After a 26-day wait kingmaker Winston Peters of the New Zealand First party threw his support behind Ardern’s party on Thursday – allowing Labour to form a coalition government with NZ First and the Greens, with a slim majority in parliament.
Ardern – a 37-year-old former Mormon and occasional DJ – campaigned on a somewhat nebulous platform of hope and change.
But after the most exciting and closely contested New Zealand election in decades – it appears her gamble has paid off.
Ardern has pledged to deliver a better life for New Zealanders by ending child poverty – making rivers swimmable again – building affordable homes and preparing young people for an unpredictable future through free tertiary education and a bigger student allowance.