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New Zealand's new government sworn in

New Zealand's new government was sworn in, officially clearing the way for Prime Minister John Key to attend this week's APEC summit meeting in Peru.

world Updated: Nov 19, 2008 08:39 IST
DPA

New Zealand's new government was sworn in on Wednesday, officially clearing the way for Prime Minister John Key to attend this week's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meeting in Peru.

Key, whose conservative National Party has formed a centre-right administration after signing power-sharing agreements with three other parties in parliament, will leave on Thursday for Lima.

He decided to go to the APEC summit immediately after his party won the biggest number of seats in parliamentary elections on November 8, saying it was vital for New Zealand to be represented at the meeting, which is expected to be dominated by the continuing international financial crisis.

Key, a multi-millionaire former foreign currency dealer, is the richest man in the House of Representatives and at age 47 is one of New Zealand's youngest-ever prime ministers.

He has pledged his government to kick-start the economy, which is officially in recession after two quarters of negative growth, with a programme of public works.

"It would be completely the wrong time to be battening down the hatches from a spending point of view, when every other country is looking at some sort of fiscal package to support their economy," he told Wellington's Dominion Post.