New Zealand Government Pledges to Alleviate Cost of Living Woes
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins Declares Economic Troubles as His Administration’s Top Priority
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins was sworn in Wednesday (01.25.2023) and officially took over the mantle from Jacinda Ardern. In his first official appearance, Hipkins stated that the economic problems facing the country, especially the skyrocketing cost of living, will be his administration’s number one priority.
“I reiterate the importance of the commitment I have made in recent days to put the cost of living and the economic situation we face as our number one priority as a government,” Hipkins declared.
The Prime Minister further revealed that he will meet with his newly-formed cabinet later to discuss what steps will be taken to prioritize, update and refocus the government’s work program, directing resources towards the pressing matters. However, he refrained from giving any details on specific decisions to ensure that speculation is avoided.
Hipkins succeeds his predecessor Ardern who surprised the world by announcing her resignation Thursday, January 21, 2023. Throughout her five-and-a-half-year term, she was lauded inside and outside New Zealand for her empathetic and firm leadership during critical times such as the Christchurch terrorist attack and the Whakaari volcano eruption. However, recent polls revealed a decline in her popularity due to the unprecedented surge in harassment and threats, by anti-vaccination groups and other parties, directed at her and her administration.