Jacinda Ardern says she will stay in touch with Winston Peters over the long weekend to discuss details of the coalition cabinet she is forming as incoming Prime Minister.

She has already finalised the Green Party's ministerial posts outside cabinet which remain under wraps until Wednesday.

But they are thought to include the hefty climate change portfolio for leader James Shaw, conservation for Eugenie Sage and some kind of transport responsibility for Julie Anne Genter.

Peters' New Zealand First party may stake a claim on the larger transport portfolio with its special interest in ports and rail and regional development.


It has four cabinet spots and Peters is expected to take up the job of Deputy Prime Minister in a deal Ardern has cast as a "partnership."

"We've talked today to work through some logistical matters and I'll be having ongoing conversations with him over the weekend," Ardern said yesterday.

Ardern named her own ministers yesterday, 16 elected to cabinet by the caucus and five appointed by her outside cabinet. But of the 21 Labour minister only seven are women.

That is fewer than National which had nine in total. Ardern said she not happy with the gender imbalance.

"We will continue to try and make sure we see that reflected as they come up through roles and responsibilities in caucus and Cabinet."

Ardern is expecting to sworn in as Prime Minister on Thursday.

"It will be a powerful Government. It will be one that brings real experience."

She called Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy yesterday to inform her she had the numbers to form a Government after Peters' announcement on Thursday that his party would support a Labour-led Government.

She has received international media attention. She has spoken to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, had a congratulatory Tweet from Canada's Justin Trudeau, and was scheduled to speak to British Prime Minister Theresa May last night - like to be on trade and security issues she said.

She has not taken a call from the fifth Five Eyes partner, United States President Donald Trump, but she is due to meet Trump in Vietnam at the Apec summit in three weeks.

On Tuesday, Ardern is due to release and sign the coalition deal with New Zealand First and the confidence and supply deal with the Green Party.

Concessions have been emerging from various sources since the Thursday announcement and yesterday Ardern confirmed that she had secured the support of both parties to ditch National's tax cuts and implement Labour's alternative families package within the first 100 days.

"We are retaining our policy on the tax cuts and our families on the families package," she said.
"That means dumping National's plans and replacing it with Labour's tax package which is substantially more generous to lower middle income families."

The Greens have also secured a referendum on the personal use of cannabis.

Asked about her views on republicanism at a press conference, Ardern said there would be no movement in that area on her watch as Prime Minister in the next three years.

"It is not a priority for New Zealanders. I will not be making it a priority for New Zealanders."

"I've been of the view that within New Zealand's future that a conversation and debate needs to be had around whether or not it is time in future to move towards a republic.

But she said her position had heavy caveats: "First and foremost we need to talk about the role of the Crown with Maori. That's essential. It would be premature to move too far before that happens.

Former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark has paid tribute to Ardern's achievement - becoming Prime Minister 80 days after taking over the Labour leadership.

She expected Ardern would be able to manage the relationship with Peters well - Clark herself had found him an exemplary partner from 2005 to 2008.

"If Winston gave his word he kept his word. We were never let down, never surprised and I think that he very much wants to be and should be treated for the very senior New Zealand politician that he is and doesn't want to be taken for granted, ever," she told the Herald.

"That may have been an element also in the way the coalition negotiations worked out."

Having good faith and good process were "absolutely everything."

"If your partner feels surprised, if they feel something was done in their name that they never agreed to, that bad. But Jacinda has a very consultative style so I'm not anticipating there'll be issues there.

Ardern's diary


: Signs a coalition deal with NZ First and a confidence and supply deal with the Greens at Parliament.


: Announces ministerial portfolios.


: Sworn in as Prime Minister by Governor General, along with ministers


: First cabinet meeting.


: Opening of Parliament, likely.


: Flies to Vietnam for Apec Summit. US President Donald Trump among delegates.