New Zealand’s ruling Labour Party elected Chris Hipkins, a former COVID Minister, to become its leader and the country’s next prime minister.
Hipkins (44), was the sole nominee for the job. His confirmation at Sunday’s Labour caucus party meeting was almost a formality.
Ardern unexpectedly resigned on Thursday, claiming that she has “no more fuel in the tank” for leading the country.
Hipkins stated that this was the greatest privilege and largest responsibility in his life at a press conference to announce his appointment. Hipkins stated, “I feel energized and excited about the challenges that lie ahead.
Hipkins instantly acknowledged Ardern’s leadership, whom he described as one of New Zealand’s most important prime ministers.
Hipkins stated that Hipkins “heard the voices of those who are often forgotten in difficult times and tried to do politics differently.”
However, some of the hatred Ardern experienced during her term serves as a reminder that there is still work to be done to make sure women who are in leadership positions receive the same respect and appreciation as men.
Hipkins, also known as Chippy, was well-known for his competence in dealing with COVID-19. He also helped Ardern out when the other ministers were having trouble.
He was first elected to Parliament in 2008. After becoming a well-known figure leading the government’s responses to the pandemic, he continued to be a fixture of the parliament. In July 2020, he was elected health minister. At the end of 2018, he became the COVID response Minister.
Hipkins appointed Carmel Sepuloni, New Zealand’s second deputy prime minister from the Pacific region, as his deputy pm.
Sepuloni (46) is Samoan, Tongan, and New Zealand European descent and lives in Auckland. Sepuloni holds several portfolios including those related to social development, employment, arts, culture, and heritage.
Hipkins stated that the rest of his team would be revealed later.
Hipkins stated that he is tired of Ardern being the focus in the media on his personal life and wants to protect his children and family.
According to him, he said that he had decided a year earlier, to separate from his wife. She said, “She is still my best friend. But we made this decision for the best interests of our family.”
According to local polls, Hipkins is the most popular candidate. Although Ardern enjoyed popularity in the early years of her tenure (five and a quarter years), her ratings plummeted due to backlash against strict COVID curbs and rising mortgage rates and living costs, as well as concerns about crime.
Hipkins faces a difficult road with Labour trailing the opposition in opinion polls. The country is expected to go into recession next quarter, before the general election on October 14.
Hipkins admitted that it was a difficult job, but said his government would focus on issues related to “bread and butter”.
“The cabinet will make decisions over the next week on reducing some programs and projects that are not essential. He said that we will focus on low and middle-income New Zealanders as well as small businesses who are struggling to make ends meet.
He said that the economy was in good shape.
He said that “our books and economy are in better shape than most around the globe” and was determined to assist the New Zealanders during these difficult economic times.
Ardern will resign before Hipkins is made prime minister. Kiro will appoint Hipkins as his successor and he’ll be sworn into office. Hipkins stated that he would be sworn into the role on Wednesday.