As it happened: Jacinda Ardern addresses an invigorated caucus

New Zealand has woken up to a new Government.

After nine years in power, the National Party will take to the opposition benches and the Labour Party, led by Jacinda Ardern, will lead the country.

The Labour Party governs with support from the Greens and NZ First. In return for their support, Labour has given them both policy concessions and ministerial posts.

The Greens will have three ministers outside cabinet and one undersecretary and NZ First will have four ministers in cabinet.

Refresh the page for the latest live updates.

4:15pm - Who will be a Minister in the new government?

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has announced the 21 Labour Ministers of the Crown in the new government.

Cabinet Minister positions will be held by the leader herself, David Clark, Clare Curran, Kelvin Davis, Chris Hipkins, Iain Lees-Galloway, Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, Stuart Nash, Damien O’Connor, David Parker, Grant Robertson, Jenny Salesa, Carmel Sepuloni, Phil Twyford and Megan Woods.

Ministers outside of Cabinet are Kris Faafoi, Peeni Henare, Willie Jackson, Aupito William Sio, Meka Whaitiri.

Ms Ardern will announce the portfolios for the Ministers next week, including the New Zealand First and Green Ministers.

2:55pm - Helen Clark gives views on new government 

Newshub Europe correspondent Tova O'Brien has spoken with former Prime Minister Helen Clark about the new government and her theories on why NZ First went with Labor. 

Ms Clark said her experience working with NZ First as a Labour Prime Minister was that when NZ First MPs gave their word, it was their bond. 

See more on Newshub at 6:00pm. 

2:15pm - Ardern addresses caucus for the first time since Peters' decision

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern addressed her caucus and thanked them for their patience this afternoon, the day after the party learnt it would be forming the next government with New Zealand First.  

Ms Ardern said the party had found allies within Parliament  "Who wish to join us in creating a fairer New Zealand, a country where our environment is protected, where we look after the most vulnerable, where we support our families, we make sure people have the most basic of needs like a roof over their head."

She thanked her team for their "enormous patience" and said during the negotiation process "not once did I get a text saying 'what's going on?'"

Ms Ardern said that despite the coalition agreement the Labour party would retain its independence.

"We remain distinct parties. Labour remains a party that at its core is based on making sure that we defend the rights of workers in New Zealand," she told her team.

At the end of the speech she commented: "There's no bloody sausage rolls!"

As it happened: Jacinda Ardern addresses an invigorated caucus
Photo credit: Newshub/ Jenna Lynch

2:00pm - Labour MPs head to caucus meeting 

Labour's caucus are meeting at Parliament this afternoon to discuss ministerial posts and the make up of the new government. 

Labour MP for Ohariu Greg O'Connor, former Police Association boss, told Newshub he didn't expect to given a ministerial post. 

Likely Finance Minister Grant Robertson said "All will be revealed in the meeting". 

Jacinda Ardern walked into the caucus room to rapturous applause from her colleagues. 

1:50pm - Nikki Kaye congratulates Jacinda Ardern 

National MP for Auckland Central and acting Education Minister Nikki Kaye has offered her congratulations to Jacinda Ardern, the presumptive Prime Minister.

Ms Kaye wrote in a Facebook post: "Congratulations to incoming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. It's a privilege and a huge responsibility to be in government and to hold the role of PM. While we may have a contest of ideas on policy I wish her all the best as she steps into this important new chapter of her life."

She said that she's "gutted for Bill English...an extraordinary New Zealander who I consider an amazing colleague and also a great friend".

"Whatever our political views are we live in the greatest country in the world," Ms Kaye said.

1:30pm - Thursday's hilarious media circus

Dozens of unsuspecting people exited parliamentary elevators on Thursday evening to find a hoard of cameras pointing their way, as media awaited Mr Peters.

Follow the above link for a hilarious montage of the media circus.

1:20pm - Reaction to coalition announcement continues

Reaction is continuing to flood in after Thursday evening's coalition news.

Here's what some people and businesses are saying.

  • "Whether you're a townie or a cockie, when it comes down to it we all have the same hopes and aspirations - Federated Farmers is looking forward to getting around the table" - Federated Farmers president Katie Milne.
  • "All three parties have pledged increases in student financial support and free tertiary education. We look forward to seeing that become a reality" - NZ Union of Students' Associations.
  • "On behalf of working people, I can say how excited we are to have a coalition government who have committed to lifting incomes, to women actually getting equal pay and to ending poverty in New Zealand" - CTU secretary Sam Huggard.
  • "Based on policy announced before the election, the EMA is keen to better understand how the new government will work with business on labour relations" - Employers and Manufacturers Association.
  • "The new government has an historic opportunity to unlock a future where New Zealanders thrive in harmony with nature" - WWF New Zealand.
  • "We're looking at an exciting new progressive partnership between three parties that have campaigned on commitments that deal with the biggest issues affecting New Zealanders" - PSA.
  • "While we need the formal coalition agreement and other information to see what the change will mean for New Zealand, the indications are that it will be major" - Taxpayers' Union.
  • "If the Greens are going to stay with the policy of allowing immigration at current levels, how will the new government be able to implement their policy of reducing migrant numbers?" - NZ Association for Migration and Investment.

1:10pm - Jacinda's parents always knew she was special

While the country and Jacinda Ardern waited for Winston Peters' decision on Thursday night, there were two people who already knew she'd be the next Prime Minister - her parents.

Ross and Laurell Ardern live in Niue, where Mr Ardern has been High Commissioner to the island country since 2013.

"This might come as a shock… but I think both Larelle and I knew from the time she was at high school that one day she would be the Prime Minister of this country," Mr Ardern told Newshub.

"We called last evening and told her we were very proud."

12:50pm - Drug Foundation welcomes cannabis law referendum

The director of the NZ Drug Foundation is welcoming a referendum on cannabis law reform, saying we need a change after 42 years of drug legislation that's "done nothing".

In an email sent out to Green Party delegates on Thursday night, the party outlined 10 big policy wins - including a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis by 2020, and more financial backing for drug and alcohol services.

Drug Foundation director Ross Bell says that as a country with one of the highest proportion of users in the world, it's about time we got onto it.

"Fundamentally for us, it's long overdue that New Zealand had a crack at its obsolete drug law. The law that's in place today, in 2017, was passed in 1975," he said.

Mr Bell said while it's good there is finally a possibility of law change, there is plenty to do before a referendum takes place, likely in 2020.

12:20pm - "Be excited" - former National MP

A Former National MP says regardless of which way New Zealanders voted, there is reason to "be excited at the prospect of the new".

"Jacinda has the chance to remake the narrative of our country," former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp wrote for The Spinoff.

"This is less about the hard core of policy and more about the image we portray to ourselves and to the world.

"Prime Ministers can embody the spirit of a nation. Jacinda Ardern will convey a sense of New Zealand as a dynamic young country where interesting things can happen."

11:55am - Mr English to discuss National leader position in coming weeks

Bill English appeared disheartened as he arrived at work this morning to talk to his staff.

"They're obviously disappointed," Mr English told Fairfax. "There's a group of people who were all revved up and ready to go."

He says his position as National Party leader will be discussed within "the next few weeks or month".

11:45am - 'Great news' for Pike River families

The families of the Pike River mine victims are welcoming the formation of a government which supports manned re-entry.

"We've got a voice now and manned re-entry is going to happen," spokesman Bernie Monk said on Friday.

"I'm ecstatic, to be honest. I've even had calls from [relatives] overseas who think it's great news."

Labour, NZ First and the Greens all support manned re-entry into the mine.

The previous government, now the caretaker government, considered it was too risky and planned for unmanned exploration using robots.

"Getting down that drift is going to give some closure to the families," Mr Monk said on Radio NZ.

"And one of the most important things is that we're going to get some justice and some accountability for what actually happened down there."

The families have been campaigning for it since the 2010 explosions killed 29 men.

11:15am - Labour Party to hold caucus meeting

The Labour Party will hold a full caucus meeting at 2pm on Friday to elect members to the Executive of the incoming government.

Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern will then hold a media conference to discuss the process over the next week.

New Zealand First has been promised four ministerial portfolios, all in cabinet, as a part of coalition negotiations.

The Greens will have three ministers outside cabinet and one undersecretary.

Winston Peters has been offered the role of deputy Prime Minister.

11:00am - A recap on the Greens' 10 policy gains

An email sent out to Green Party delegates last night, and subsequently shared on social media, outlines 10 areas the Greens have had wins.

Free counselling for under-25s and a referendum on personal use of cannabis are two of the policy gains made.

10:55am - Labour's bold 100-day plan

Here is an overview of what the Labour Party hopes to achieve within their first 100 days - and how likely it is to happen.

10:50am - Support flooding in for new PM

Support is pouring in for Ms Ardern from across the world.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among the first of the world's leaders to offer congratulations - along with the UK's Theresa May, who called Ms Ardern directly. 

Australian Labour leader Bill Shorten, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have all sent their best wishes.

Ms Ardern says she isn't holding her breath for a phone call from Donald Trump.

10:20am - David Seymour's scathing attack

David Seymour has launched a stinging attack at the new coalition agreement, predicting the Government will be brought down by a Green Party MP.

The sole ACT Party MP in parliament, and party leader, says the "wild card that will bring down this Government is Marama Davidson".

"It's only a matter of time before she is anointed as the Green Party co-leader. She doesn't play by the rules that most politicians do. She will make Metiria Turei look like a sensible version of Helen Clark."

He went on to label New Zealand First leader Winston Peters a "charismatic crook".

"We've got a mad man on the loose. We've had an announcement of a government without an announcement on what its policies are… hugely irresponsible.

"This is a guy who has been in government three times before and sacked from cabinet three times. This is the guy who has represented three different electorates - all of them have voted him out, most recently Northland."

Mr Seymour says NZ First "doesn't actually have the depth of talent" to fill the four ministerial roles they have been promised.

"We in New Zealand have had an election on a three-year time frame like clockwork since World War II… but the most serious challenge to that has been elected last night."

10:10am - Mr Peters' concerns of economy downturn "fair" - Ardern

New Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says it's only fair that Mr Peters warned of "signs of a slowdown" for the economy.

"We will potentially have a rocky road in front of us," she told The Am Show. "You can't control what you face."

But a chief economist says Kiwis need to "chill" over the "potential doom and gloom" a changed Government could bring to our economy.

"Ten years after the global financial crisis, world balance sheets are still in a bit of a mess," Business and Economic Research Limited chief economist Dr Ganesh Nana says.

"We probably have to tell the finance markets to chill a little bit, take their morning medication and just realise that the sun still will rise in the east and set in the west.

"Life goes on. There will be changes, there will be losers... we have to just get on with it basically."

10:00am - Water tax off the table

Labour's water tax appears to be off the table, with Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern saying Winston Peters was "very firm" on the controversial levy.

While the exact policy agreements between NZ First and Labour are yet to be made public - and in some cases, still being finalised - Ms Ardern told The AM Show on Friday morning while she was "still sticking to the goal of improving our waterways", Mr Peters "campaigned very firmly" against it.

"We are going to release the details early next week. People will understand that Mr Peters campaigned very firmly on that issue. I campaigned on water quality - I'm still sticking to the goal of improving our waterways... but I can tell you Mr Peters was very firm on that."

9:40am - Greens promised cannabis referendum

The Greens have been promised a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis.

The Greens' delegate email, which includes policy gains, includes a "referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at, or by, the 2020 general election".

The Greens , who will support the Government through a confidence and supply agreement, also promised "free counselling for under-25s and access to mental health services and support for everyone".

Also included were "significant climate action", an "overhaul of the welfare system" and increased alcohol and drug services.

Newshub.

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