New Zealand’s ruling Labour Party on Sunday selected Chris Hipkins to replace Jacinda Ardern as its leader and the next prime minister of the country. He was the only candidate for the job.
Hipkins named Carmel Sepuloni as Deputy Prime Minister, New Zealand’s first deputy prime minister of Pacific origin. The rest of his team would be announced later.
First elected to parliament for the Labour Party in 2008, Hipkins became a household name heading the government’s response to the pandemic. He was appointed health minister in July 2020 before becoming the COVID response minister at the end of the year.
The election of a new Prime Minister came after a surprise announcement of Jacinda Ardern’s resignation. New Zealand’s former Prime Minister resigned, as she confirmed a national election for October. Ardern became the world’s youngest female Prime Minister of the country in 2017 at 37. She has led New Zealand through the COVID-19 pandemic, and a series of disasters, including the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, and the White Island volcanic eruption.
Before Hipkins officially becomes Prime Minister, Ardern must tender her resignation to King Charles III’s representative in New Zealand, Governor General Cindy Kiro. After this, Hipkins will be appointed for the role and sworn in.