The Latest: Jacinda Ardern to be New Zealand's next leader

The Latest on New Zealand's government (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Jacinda Ardern will be New Zealand's next prime minister after a small political party chose to make a deal with liberals following the nation's election nearly a month ago.

At 37 years old, Ardern will be the nation's youngest leader in more than 150 years. She has been compared to other young, charismatic leaders such as President Emmanuel Macron in France and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Canada.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters announced Thursday that his party had decided to enter a coalition with Ardern's Labour Party. The liberal Green Party will support the coalition but won't be a part of the government.

New Zealanders have been waiting since the Sept. 23 election to find out who will govern after the election ended without a clear winner.


1 p.m.

New Zealanders expect to learn Thursday if their next prime minister will be 37-year-old liberal challenger Jacinda Ardern or 55-year-old conservative incumbent Bill English.

The maverick leader of a small party that holds the balance of power said he would be making an announcement.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is expected to declare which of the main parties he favors joining in a coalition.

New Zealand First has been negotiating privately with Ardern's Labour Party and English's National Party after an election held nearly a month ago ended without a clear winner.

A coalition needs at least 61 seats to govern in the 120-seat parliament. National won 56 seats while the liberal bloc of Labour and the Green Party won 54. New Zealand First won nine seats.