New Zealand Education Minister Chris Hipkins will succeed Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister



CNN

Chris Hipkins, New Zealand’s education minister, will succeed Jacinda Ardern as prime minister after she shockedly announced her resignation earlier this week.

Hipkins was the only candidate to be nominated for leadership of the ruling Labor Party, the party said in a statement Saturday morning.

“The Labor Party caucus will meet at 1 p.m. Sunday to ratify the nomination and confirm Chris Hipkins as leader,” Labor Party Whip Duncan Webb said in the statement.

New Zealand’s next general election is on October 14.

Ardern said Thursday she would stand aside for a new leader, saying she doesn’t believe she has the energy to seek re-election in October’s polls.

Speaking at a press conference, Ardern said her term would end on February 7, when she expected a new Labor prime minister to be sworn in – although “depending on the process that could be sooner”.

Hipkins previously oversaw New Zealand’s pandemic management as Covid-19 response minister in Ardern’s cabinet.

According to his official profile, Hipkins first joined the government as senior adviser to two education ministers and later in the office of then Prime Minister Helen Clark.

He entered parliament in 2008 and became spokesperson for education in early 2013.

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