Chris Hipkins Selected as New Zealand’s Next Prime Minister
Chris Hipkins Appointed Prime Minister of New Zealand After Jacinda Ardern’s Resignation
The Labor Party of New Zealand has appointed Chris Hipkins, 44, as their new Prime Minister in the wake of Jacinda Ardern’s resignation on Thursday. Hipkins, who had previously been in charge of leading the nation through the COVID-19 pandemic, will replace Ardern after she steps down on February 7.
“I like to think that I am quite determined and can get things done,” Hipkins said in a statement after his appointment. He and the Labor Party will start their term ahead of the October 2021 elections, but with the party trailing in opinion polls and being met with criticism over issues such as crime, poverty, and high prices. Despite this, Hipkins remains unfazed and replied with a resolute “Yes” when asked if he believed his party could win in the polls.
Hipkins first rose to prominence as the Education and Public Services minister before assuming the post of Interior Minister in June 2020. Ardern, a global icon of progressive politics, shocked the nation with her surprising resignation. After leading New Zealand through natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the worst terrorist attack in their history, Ardern no longer had the energy to “continue in office”.
The leadership of the center-left party will officially elect Hipkins as Prime Minister on Sunday.