Australia

Chris Hipkins to be next New Zealand PM after Jacinda Ardern’s shock resignation

Jacinda Ardern’s successor as New Zealand PM announced after only one candidate submitted his name for the post

  • Chris Hipkins will be the next Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • Mr. Hipkins is considered a trusted political ally of Ms. Ardern.
  • He was only nominated for the role on the leadership ballot.
  • He entered parliament in 2008, the same year as Ms Ardern.

Chris Hipkins is set to become New Zealand’s next prime minister after he was the only candidate for the Labor leadership vacated by Jacinda Ardern.

Ms Ardern announced her surprise resignation on Thursday, citing burnout after five and a half years on the job.

His surprise departure, unknown in his party room until hours earlier, sent Labor MPs scrambling to find a replacement as party leader and prime minister.

Hipkins, a trusted Ardern ally, emerged as the consensus candidate and was the sole nominee for the job in a hastily called leadership vote.

Mr. Hipkins, a trusted ally of Ms. Ardern, emerged as the consensus candidate and was the sole nominee for the job in a hastily called leadership vote.

The senior MPs were tight-lipped as they held talks in Napier, where they had traveled for the holiday retreat, and back in Wellington on Friday.

No parliamentarians signaled their intention to run before the nominations deadline at 9 am on Saturday, sticking to a pact to hold internal discussions.

Shortly after that deadline passed, the party’s whip Duncan Webb informed MPs about the only candidate: Mr Hipkins.

The 44-year-old will be confirmed as party leader at a caucus meeting on Sunday, confirming his rise to the top job in New Zealand politics.

The Remutaka MP is a well-liked member of parliament, known for his sense of humor and his enjoyment of sausage rolls.

He is a lifelong Labor member, volunteering for the party at a young age, becoming president of his university students’ union and entering parliament in 2008 on the same admission as Ms Ardern.

Jacinda Ardern Announced Her Shock Resignation As New Zealand'S Prime Minister On Thursday, Citing Burnout After Five And A Half Years On The Job.

Jacinda Ardern announced her shock resignation as New Zealand’s prime minister on Thursday, citing burnout after five and a half years on the job.

Mr. Hipkins is a trusted political ally of Ms. Ardern and has been given tough jobs, such as COVID-19 minister and police minister, when safe hands were needed.

The two are close friends and take their young children to play outside of parliament.

Mr. Hipkins is also a political warrior with an enthusiasm for scoring that has led him to cross the line.

His most notable episode for Australians came in 2017, when he used parliament to seek information about Barnaby Joyce’s dual citizenship status, drawing criticism from Australia’s then Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Ms. Ardern in a rare dispute between Tasmania.

This week Labor MPs were quick to see Hipkins as their best option to follow Ardern, especially given Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson’s decision to rule himself out.

The 44-hour process did not allow rank-and-file Labor members or the New Zealand public a say in the choice of prime minister.

Both Hipkins and Ardern argued that this was crucial in allowing government stability.

Mr. Hipkins Managed New Zealand'S Covid-19 Response At A Time When Many New Zealanders Were Protesting The Country'S Onerous Restrictions.

Mr. Hipkins managed New Zealand’s COVID-19 response at a time when many New Zealanders were protesting the country’s onerous restrictions.

“The most important thing is that we focus on a process that is fast, that ensures the team can quickly get back to focusing on the issues that matter to New Zealand,” said Ms Ardern.

While the public was not included in the process, Hipkins appears to be the popular choice.

A variety of polls by the New Zealand media and polling agencies confirmed that he was the most popular Labor MP to follow in Mrs Ardern’s footsteps.

Local media are also reporting that Labor MPs may rethink their deputy leader role, which is currently held by Kelvin Davis.

Kiritapu Allan and Carmel Sepuloni have been mentioned as possible leadership partners for Hipkins, who is likely to be sworn in as prime minister next week.

Ardern will leave parliament entirely in April, before national elections on October 14.

Who is Chris Hipkins, the next Prime Minister of New Zealand?

Chris Hipkins Rose To Prominence As A Minister For Health And Covid-19 During New Zealand'S Response To The Pandemic.

Chris Hipkins rose to prominence as a minister for health and Covid-19 during New Zealand’s response to the pandemic.

Chris Hipkins was the only candidate for the Labor leadership vacated by Jacinda Ardern and will become New Zealand’s 41st Prime Minister.

* Born on September 5, 1978 in Wellington

* Entered parliament in 2008, along with Ms Ardern

* MP for Remutaka, in Upper Hutt, the downtrodden northern suburbs of Wellington where he grew up

* Studied politics and criminology at Victoria University of Wellington, where he was student president

*Former Prime Minister Helen Clark’s staff member

* She spent nine years in opposition and, winning the government in 2017, was appointed by Ms Ardern as Minister for Education and Leader of the House.

* Became minister of health and COVID-19 in 2020, taking a leading role during the pandemic

* Moved to police minister this year as concerns over law and order grew

* Known to Kiwis as a self-deprecating sausage roll enthusiast.

* Married wife, Jade, at the Prime Minister’s official residence in 2020, with Finance Minister Grant Robertson as her best man.

* He has two children, a six-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter

-Ben McKay, AAP

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