AUCKLAND – After shocking the nation by abruptly announcing her departure from the position last week, Jacinda Ardern was officially succeeded by Chris Hipkins as prime minister of New Zealand on Wednesday.
During a ceremony in the nation’s capital, Wellington, the 44-year-old new prime minister Chris Hipkins was sworn in by the governor-general of New Zealand.
“This is the biggest privilege and responsibility of my life. I’m energized and excited by the challenges ahead.”– Chris Hipkins (Prime Minister of New Zealand)
After leading the nation through a series of natural disasters, its worst-ever terrorist attack, and the COVID-19 epidemic, Ardern claimed last week that she no longer had “enough in the tank.”
Earlier on Wednesday, she made her final public appearance as prime minister, leaving parliament to a rousing burst of applause from hundreds of spectators.
Over the past two years, her center-left government has battled more and more as a result of rising inflation, an impending recession, and a resurgent conservative opposition.
In order to boost the government’s waning support ahead of a general election in October, Hipkins, the mastermind behind New Zealand’s pandemic response, has now been trusted with that mandate.
Hipkins has said previously that COVID-19 and the global pandemic created a health crisis but now it’s created an economic one and “that’s where my government’s focus” will be.