TODAY |

Jacinda Ardern releases letter outlining details of Winston Peters' six weeks as acting Prime Minister - and when he should contact her

Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters have developed an arrangement while the Prime Minister takes her leave of absence after giving birth, released publicly in the form of a letter today. 

Ms Ardern is intending to take six weeks maternity leave, with her baby due on June 17. 

Due to public interest, Ms Ardern said she had set out the arrangements in letter, created by herself and Mr Peters. 

"The Deputy Prime Minister will exercise the functions and powers of the Prime Minister in consultation with me, where appropriate," Ms Ardern said during her post-Cabinet press conference today.

"It is no different to any time he is in my acting prime minister in my absence, for instance for overseas travel." 

Today the Prime Minister revealed the letter outlining the details of their six-week arrangement. Source: 1 NEWS

He will manage the day-to-day business of the government, however Ms Ardern will still be contacted on "significant matters".

The PM told media today the pair worked on the letter together.  

The letter reads:

Dear Winston,

Working arrangements during absence of Prime Minister

As you know, I intend to take a leave of absence this year for a period of six weeks. Thank you for agreeing to be Acting Prime Minister during that time.

The arrangements during this time will be the same as they would during any other period in which I am away and you are Acting Prime Minister, but as there has been some public interest in this particular period, I am setting the arrangements out in a letter, to be published on the Beehive website.

As Acting Prime Minister, you will exercise the functions and powers of the Prime Minister, in consultation with me where appropriate, particularly where matters of significant political, strategic or public interest, or national security arise. I will continue to receive Cabinet and Cabinet committee papers. You will manage the day-to-day business of the government, including:

 chairing Cabinet and the Cabinet committees usually chaired by me (Appointments and Honours Committee, Cabinet Business Committee and Cabinet Priorities Committee). Agendas for the meetings will be managed between my office and the Cabinet Office in the usual way;

 engaging with and directing officials from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;

 overseeing the government’s policy programme;

 answering questions directed at the Prime Minister in the House and responding to media inquiries, Official Information Act requests and other correspondence; and

 attending official engagements.

My Chief of Staff, Mike Munro, and staff in the Office of the Prime Minister will support you in your role as Acting Prime Minister, as will officials in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, including the Cabinet Office.

Thank you again for your support,

Yours sincerely,

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister

Ms Ardern is intending to take six weeks maternity leave, with her baby due on June 17. Source: 1 NEWS