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New Government sworn in today live updates: Christopher Luxon becomes Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers assume roles

NZ Herald
Christopher Luxon sworn in as Prime Minister at Government House. Photo / Mark Mitchell November 27 2023

Christopher Luxon sworn in as Prime Minister at Government House. Photo / Mark Mitchell November 27 2023

National leader Christopher Luxon has given formal confirmation that he has the support to form a Government.

Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro has signed a warrant formally appointing Luxon as Prime Minister.

Luxon and his ministers, including Act leader David Seymour and NZ First leader Winston Peters have been sworn in in front of family and friends at Government House.

Peters was sworn as the Deputy Prime Minister under the arrangement in the coalition deals which gives Peters that role for the first 18 months before Seymour takes it over for the remainder of the parliamentary term.

After today’s swearing-in the new Government would be briefed by Treasury, with Luxon telling Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking the new administration would “potentially” be starting government in a recession.

He wasn’t hopeful that the books were in as good a shape as outgoing Finance Minister Grant Robertson had claimed.



The split in the role was one of the last compromises reached in the talks to cut the coalition deal, which resulted in the first three-party coalition under MMP. The 20-strong Cabinet will include three NZ First ministers and three Act ministers. All three parties also have ministers outside Cabinet.

The ministers will not have long to celebrate: Luxon has made it clear he wants to get his first 100 days’ programme rolling as soon as possible. The ministers were moved into their new offices over the weekend, and from Monday afternoon can start meeting with their government departments’ heads.

Finance Minister Nicola Willis had her first briefing with Treasury officials on Friday and said that included warnings of some surprise blowouts and fiscal risks in the books, about which she would have more to say in the coming week.

Willis now has to start work on a mini-Budget to coincide with Treasury’s half-yearly opening of the books in mid-December. She has already downplayed expectations of the mini-Budget, saying the emphasis is on the “mini.” The main tax cuts package and other big moves are not expected until the Budget next May.

Ministers also have to start officials working on legislation ahead of Parliament sitting again – the new Parliament is expected to kick off from December 5.

The coalition is planning a lot of change, including cuts to the size of the public service and in spending. It also wants to try to make heads of government department more accountable.

Willis is also public service minister and told the NZ Herald she was yet to have her first briefing with Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes. She said she would be asking Hughes for advice on how much discretion ministers had to assess the performance of their chief executives and to hold them accountable for it.

On Q+A yesterday, Seymour said the scale of the public service cuts was yet to be determined, but agreed it could be in the ballpark of about 8000 back office and bureaucratic jobs. Seymour had pushed for the public service to return to 2017 levels: meaning 15,000 jobs would go. However, the final coalition agreement settled on a less rigid formula to reduce non-essential back office roles.

National also intends to bring back specific targets for government departments to aim for, and to make them more accountable.