Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

New Zealand chooses Hipkins to replace Ardern

CHRIS HIPKINS speaks to members of the media outside New Zealand’s parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, Jan. 21. — REUTERS

WELLINGTON — New Zealand’s ruling Labor Party chose former COVID minister Chris Hipkins on Sunday to replace the charismatic Jacinda Ardern as its new leader, and become the next prime minister of the country.

Mr. Hipkins, 44, was the only nomination for the job and his confirmation at a party meeting on Sunday, known as the Labor caucus, was largely a formality.

His appointment to the top job followed the surprise resignation on Thursday by Ms. Ardern, who said she had “no more in the tank” to lead the country.

“This is the biggest privilege and biggest responsibility of my life,” Mr. Hipkins said at a news conference announcing his appointment. “I am energized and excited by the challenge that lies ahead.”

Mr. Hipkins immediately acknowledged the leadership of Ardern, who he called one of New Zealand’s greatest prime ministers and an inspiration to women and girls everywhere.

“She gave voice to those often overlooked in times of challenge and purposefully went about doing politics differently,” Mr. Hipkins said.

But some of the hate Ardern faced during her term is a reminder that “we’ve got a way to go to ensure women in leadership receive the same respect as their male counterparts,” he added.

Known as “Chippy,” Hipkins built a reputation for competence in tackling COVID-19 and was a troubleshooter for Ardern when other cabinet ministers were struggling.

First elected to parliament in 2008, he became a household name fronting 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.

Mr. Hipkins named Carmel Sepuloni as deputy prime minister, New Zealand’s first deputy prime minister of Pacific origin.

Ms. Sepuloni, 46, is of Samoan, Tongan and New Zealand European decent and lives in Auckland. She holds a number of portfolios, including social development and employment and arts, culture and heritage.

Mr. Hipkins said the rest of his team would be announced later.

TOUGH ROADMr. Hipkins said he has seen the media focus on Ms. Ardern’s personal life, and wants to keep his two young children and his family out of the limelight.

He said a year ago his wife and he decided to live separately. “She’s still my best friend but we have made that decision in the best interest of our family.”

Local polls have shown Mr. Hipkins was the most popular potential candidate among voters. While Ms. Ardern was popular early in her five-and-a-half-year tenure, her ratings have slid on a backlash to strict COVID curbs, rising living costs and mortgage rates, and concerns about crime.

Mr. Hipkins has a tough road ahead with Labor trailing the opposition in opinion polls and the country expected to fall into recession next quarter before a general election on Oct. 14.

Mr. Hipkins acknowledged that he was taking on the job at a challenging time, and said his government will focus on “bread and butter issues”.

“Over the coming week the cabinet will be making decisions on reining in some programs and projects that aren’t essential right now. We will be focused on middle- and low-income New Zealanders and the small businesses that are (finding) it tough to get by,” he said.

The economy is in sound shape, he said.

“Our books and our economy are in a better shape than many around the world and we are absolutely resolved to help the New Zealanders through these tough economic times,” he said.

Before Mr. Hipkins becomes prime minister, Ms. Ardern will tender her resignation to King Charles’ representative in New Zealand, Governor General Cindy Kiro. Ms. Kiro is to appoint Mr. Hipkins to the role and he will be sworn in. Mr. Hipkins said he will be sworn in on Wednesday. — Reuters

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

News

CODY LOGAN/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS SYDNEY — The Australian government will examine surveillance technology used in offices of the defense department, Defence Minister Richard Marles said...

News

The north view of the Manhattan skyline is seen from the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan, New...

News

HONG KONG — The world should “calm down” about the possibility of new COVID-19 variants circulating in China, leading Chinese scientist George Gao said....

News

Image by Marco Verch/CC BY 2.0 Medical advances have made cancer treatable even at stage 4, or when the disease has spread to other...

News

BW FILE PHOTO Thanks to the global financial crisis of 2007-2009, the world is many times richer in valuable lessons to avoid another crisis....

News

PRESIDENT FERDINAND R. MARCOS, JR. welcomes United States Defense Chief Lloyd Austin III at Malacañang Palace on Feb. 2. — NOEL B. PABALATE/PPA POOL...

You May Also Like

News

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...

News

REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...

News

BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...

News

KARASOLAR.COM TENA, Ecuador — Ecuador’s rainforest Achuar people say their ancestors long dreamed of a “fire canoe” or “electric fish” that would let them...

Disclaimer: Respect Investment.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.