Chris Hipkins sworn in as New Zealand's new Prime Minister; promises to fight 'pandemic of inflation'
New Prime Minister Chris Hipkins (44) was sworn in by New Zealand's governor-general during a ceremony in the capital, Wellington. Jacinda Ardern was officially replaced on Wednesday after shocking the country with her abrupt resignation last week.
Chris Hipkins was sworn in as New Zealand's 41st prime minister, on Wednesday after Jacinda Ardern's unexpected resignation last week. Hipkins (44) has promised a return to a basic approach focused on the economy and what he called the 'pandemic of inflation.'
During a ceremony in Wellington, new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins was sworn in by New Zealand's governor-general Cindy Kiro. "This is the greatest honour and responsibility of my life," said Hipkins after taking office.
Hipkins has less than nine months before contesting a tough general election, with polls showing his Labour Party trailing its conservative opposition.
Previously, Hipkins was an education and police minister under Ardern. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he rose to public prominence by taking on a crisis management role. But he and other liberals have long been overshadowed by Ardern, who became a global left icon and exemplified a new leadership style.
Last week, Ardern said that she no longer had 'enough in the tank' after steering the country through natural disasters, the country's worst-ever terror attack, and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ardern made her final public appearance as prime minister on Tuesday, saying she would miss the people the most as they had been the 'joy of the job.'
New Zealand's head of state is Britain's King Charles III, and Kiro is his representative in the country, though the country's relationship with the monarchy is largely symbolic these days.