As Jacinda Ardern left her position as Prime Minister of New Zealand to a massive applause, Chris Hipkins was sworn in as her replacement.
Sworn in by Governor-General Cindy Kiro during a capital in the capital Wellington, Hipkins stated that he was energised and excited by the challenges ahead.
The 44-year-old described his new post as the biggest privilege and responsibility of his life as he is now tasked with gaining the public’s trust in the government following massive economic setbacks brought on mainly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hipkins had built a reputation as the minister who led New Zealand’s COVID-19 strategy, receiving unanimous support to be promoted as leader of the country.
With the upcoming general elections in October, Hipkins has a massive task of revitalising the popularity of his party as recent polls indicate that they trail behind the conservative National Party.
Hipkins also recently held the ministerial portfolios of education, police as well as public service. Nicknamed ‘Chippy’, he will be holding his first cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ardern, who said she no longer has ‘enough in the tank’ after leading the country through some of the toughest challenges, made her last public appearance as Prime Minister on Wednesday.