Chris Hipkins sworn in as New Zealand’s 41st prime minister

Chris Hipkins sworn in as New Zealand’s 41st prime minister
New Zealand’s new prime minister Chris Hipkins (Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald/AP

Chris Hipkins has been sworn in as New Zealand’s 41st prime minister, following the unexpected resignation last week of Jacinda Ardern.

Hipkins, 44, has promised a back-to-basics approach focusing on the economy and what he described as the “pandemic of inflation”.

He will have less than nine months before contesting a tough general election, with opinion polls indicating his Labour Party is trailing its conservative opposition.

New Zealand governor-general Cindy Kiro officiated at the swearing-in ceremony after earlier accepting Ms Ardern’s resignation.

Mr Hipkins served as education and police minister under Ms Ardern.

He rose to public prominence during the Covid-19 pandemic, when he took on a kind of crisis management role.

But he and other liberals have long been in the shadow of Ms Ardern, who became a global star of the left and exemplified a new style of leadership.

Ms Ardern on Tuesday made her final public appearance as prime minister, saying the thing she would miss most was the people because they had been the “joy of the job”.

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