Chris Hipkins set to replace Jacinda Ardern as New Zealand prime minister
On Sunday, Hipkins will likely be voted in as the new leader.
If he receives the party’s endorsement, Hipkins will serve as prime minister until the conclusion of the term.
He has confirmed that Ardern’s suggested changes to her cabinet will be implemented.
Chris Hipkins, a key figure in New Zealand’s reaction to the COVID-19 epidemic, is expected to replace Jacinda Ardern as prime minister after becoming the Labour Party’s sole contender for leadership on Saturday in WELLINGTON.
At a Sunday meeting of Labour’s 64 legislators, or Caucus, Hipkins, 44, is predicted to be approved as the new leader.
Hipkins, after being named the party’s lone candidate, said during a press conference, “I think we’re an exceptionally strong team.”
“We’ve come this far together, and that won’t change. I consider myself very fortunate to be a part of such a fantastic team that is so dedicated to helping the people of New Zealand.”
Hipkins, however, refused to elaborate on his policy objectives. Ardern’s proposed cabinet overhaul will go on, but Finance Minister Grant Robertson will probably stay in his position, he added.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted that he had a “warm talk” with him, and he stated they had spoken.
On Thursday, Ardern unexpectedly announced that she would be resigning as prime minister because she had “no more in the tank” to lead New Zealand.
Hipkins, a member of parliament since 2008 after being elected to represent the Labour Party, shot to fame as the public face of the government’s response to the pandemic. In July of 2020, he was named minister of health, and by year’s end, he was promoted to minister in charge of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with becoming the House Speaker, his new portfolios include those of Minister of Police, Minister of Education, and Minister of Public Service.
On Friday, Stuff, a local news outlet, accessed a Horizon Research snap poll that revealed 26% of likely voters supported Hipkins as a contender.
According to New Zealander Eva Murphy in Auckland, he has a formidable task ahead of him.
She said, “He will never fill the shoes that Jacinda has, and it will be interesting to watch what Labour comes out with in terms of the election campaign over the next year and we’re looking forward to seeing what happens.”
It is anticipated that Labour legislators will confirm Hipkins on Sunday afternoon. After that, Ardern will formally submit her resignation to New Zealand’s governor-general, at which point Hipkins will be named as her successor.
Hipkins will serve as prime minister until the conclusion of the party’s mandate if he is confirmed.
On October 14, New Zealand will vote in a general election, and recent polls have shown the opposition Labour Party lagging the New Zealand National Party.
On Friday, the Taxpayers’ Union and Curia produced a poll that used data collected before Ardern’s resignation announcement to show that Labour’s popularity had dropped to 31.7%, placing them well behind the Nationals at 37.2%.
In a statement, Labour’s regular coalition partner, the New Zealand Green Party, expressed optimism about working with Hipkins.
Co-leader of the Green Party James Shaw said, “Chris will make a wonderful Prime Minister and we look forward to continue our work together, for the rest of this term and the next.”