Released: 02:40 GMT, 2. November 2020 | Updated: 02:57 GMT, 2. November 2020
Re-elected: PM Jacinda Ardern on Monday
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will be in no rush to open the country to international tourists once her new government is sworn in on Friday, an analyst told Daily Mail Australia.
The 40-year-old Labor leader won an overwhelming majority last month when voters rewarded her for eliminating Covid-19 with only 1,883 cases and 25 deaths recorded after the country’s borders were closed and a draconian lockdown was imposed in March.
Life in New Zealand has been largely normal since June. The football stadiums are full and the pubs and shops are full with no social distancing required.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is keen to resume travel across the Trench and is already letting kiwis enter Australia without quarantine – but it could be months before Ms Ardern allows Aussies to go the other way.
Dr. David Belgrave, professor of politics at Massey University in New Zealand, believes a two-way travel bubble won’t emerge until next year.
“With the election of Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand has shown that it wants a tight Covid policy and it is unlikely that it will want to deviate from it even after its big win,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
“In the new year there will be difficult decisions.”
He added, “Kiwis have shown a pretty strong desire to keep case numbers as low as possible and to encourage restrictions and the wearing of masks, even when cases are few.
“The case numbers in Australia would have to be low for a long time to give the Prime Minister the confidence to open the border.”
In early October, Ms. Ardern said an Australian state or territory would have to go a month without community broadcast before considering a travel bubble.
New Zealand will be in no hurry to open the country to international tourists. Pictured: a vineyard in New Zealand
‘That is the key for us. One of our criteria is clear for 28 days, ”she said.
Every state except Victoria and New South Wales has achieved this – but it remains unclear what else the New Zealand government will need before a bubble develops.
Tourism is New Zealand’s largest export industry, employing 8.4 percent of the kiwifruit. If the borders remain closed, it will weigh heavily on the economy this summer.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Jacinda Ardern’s office for comment.
Dr. Belgrave said the re-election of Ms. Ardern will not change the relationship between New Zealand and Australia, which he has described as “pretty bad” in recent years.
Ms. Ardern has called on the Morrison government to stop deporting New Zealand-born criminals after they have spent most of their lives in Australia.
‘Deportations have been the problem that most affected New Zealand. Your majority win won’t change the dynamic, but it might encourage you to be a little tougher in your negotiations, ”said Dr. Belgrave.
Ms. Ardern’s center-left Labor party received 49 percent of the vote, enough to secure 64 seats in parliament with 120 seats, the country’s first majority since 1996.
Tourism is New Zealand’s largest export industry, employing 8.4 percent of the kiwifruit. Pictured: Mount Cook, New Zealand
On Sunday, she signed a contract with the Greens to give them two ministries.
‘This agreement is different from any other. No consensus is required. It allows the parties to take their own positions on issues where this is important, but also provides an opportunity to work together in other areas, ”said Ms. Ardern.
‘This Cooperation Agreement represents the relationship that the Labor Party and the Greens have built over the past three years and the continuation of it.
“Important for the government (the deal) brings stability.”
Green co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson will hold the Climate Change and Domestic Violence Portfolios, and both will sit outside the cabinet.
The Greens secured an increase in their votes in last month’s elections by pledging to support Mrs Ardern’s over-popular government.
“The Greens have been committed to working productively with Labor to get things done, especially on climate change and inequality,” Davidson said.
“We are really proud to sign this agreement today.”
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