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Chris Hipkins is now declared as 41st prime minister of New Zealand

January 26, 2023: On Wednesday, Chris Hipkins was declared in as New Zealand’s 41st prime minister after the unexpected resignation final week of Jacinda Ardern.

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

He will have below nine months before contesting a tough general election, with opinion polls which indicates his Labour Party is trailing its conservative fights.

New Zealand Governor-General Cindy Kiro officiates the brief swearing-in ceremony with friends and colleagues after accepting Ardern’s resignation.

“This is my life’s huge privilege and responsibility,” Hipkins said at the ceremony. “I’m boosted and excited by the challenges that lie ahead.”

Carmel Sepuloni is swearing in as deputy prime minister, the initial time a person with Pacific Island heritage has taken on the role. She congratulated Hipkins and thanked him for his trust in her.

After the ceremony, Hipkins said to reporters: “It feels pretty real now.”

Hipkins has stated to many by the nickname “Chippy,” which fits his upbeat demeanour and skills as an amateur handyman.

He increased to public prominence in the Covid-19 pandemic when he considered a crisis management role. He then served as education and police minister under Ardern. But he, along with other liberals, has long been in the shadow of Ardern, now becoming a global icon of the left and exemplifying a recent leadership style.

On Tuesday, Ardern made her final public appearance as prime minister, which said that she would miss the people as they had been the “joy of the job.”

The head-of-state of New Zealand is Britain’s King Charles III, and Kiro is his example in New Zealand. However, nowadays, the nation’s relationship with the monarchy is largely symbolic.

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