Jacinda Ardern to become New Zealand Prime Minister

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New Zealanders could be legally smoking marijuana in three years - with drug laws reform part of the deal that brought

New Zealand's prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern promised "a government of change" as she met with leaders of her centre-left Labour Party yesterday to prepare to take power after a stunning election win.

Winston Peters, the leader of the anti-immigration NZ First party, announced in a live TV broadcast that he would support Arden in a coalition government, after September's election returned a hung parliament. The Green party will not formally join the coalition, but will decide whether to give their support on a case-by-case basis.

"That's a fairly remarkable performance given that just 10 or 12 weeks ago she was the deputy leader of a failing opposition". "Mr Peters and New Zealand First were a party of their word, that provided stability and we delivered", she told Radio New Zealand.

Webb's tweet got hundreds of replies, including one from former Prime Minister Helen Clark, who said: "That's New Zealand!"

The Greens are now undergoing internal discussions on whether to back the Labour-NZ First coalition, Ardern said her expectation was that "we are together changing the government".

A proposed change in the law over cannabis is being driven by the Green Party manifesto which states the drug should be legal for personal use, including possession and cultivation.

Green party lawmakers will be offered ministerial portfolios in the next government, Ardern said. "We've formed a coalition government based on the majority of votes", she said.

"A country where our environment is protected, where we look after the most vulnerable, where we support our families, where we make sure people have the most basic of needs, like a roof over their head".

Ardern wants to curb immigration, ban foreign speculators from buying homes and build thousands more affordable houses.

After she took control of Labour, the party surged in the polls, leading the press to coin the term "Jacindamania".

National leader Bill English had been PM since December a year ago.

Left-wing politicians in Australia were quick to congratulate Ardern, with Labor leader Bill Shorten welcoming a "new era for New Zealand".

Ardern said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had called her and their conversation was "incredibly warm and friendly".

As most expected, New Zealand First's nine seats made them the kingmakers.

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