Hipkins set to replace Ardern as New Zealand PM
Wellington, Jan 21 (UNI): New Zealand Labour MP Chris Hipkins is set to replace Jacinda Ardern as prime minister after becoming the only nominee for the party’s leadership, media reports said.
Hipkins was first elected to parliament in 2008 and was appointed minister for Covid-19 in November 2020, according to BBC news. In Ardern’s shock announcement on Thursday, she said she did not have “enough in the tank” to lead.
How long Hipkins will be in office is uncertain as New Zealand holds a general election in October. Hipkins, 44, is currently minister for police, education and public service.
He will still need to be formally endorsed by the Labour Party in the House of Representatives on Sunday before he can become leader.
Should he receive that backing, Ardern will formally tender her resignation to the governor-general, who will then – on behalf of King Charles III – appoint Hipkins as prime minister.