Jacinda Ardern's successor as prime minister of New Zealand is Chris Hipkins

Christine Hipkins

After being selected as the sole candidate for the party's leadership, New Zealand Labour MP Chris Hipkins is expected to succeed Jacinda Ardern as prime minister.

In November 2020, he was named Covid-19's minister. He was first elected to the legislature in 2008.

The shocking statement made by Ms. Ardern on Thursday claimed that she lacked "enough in the tank" to take the helm.

Because of the upcoming general election in New Zealand in October, it is unclear how long Mr. Hipkins will hold office.

Currently, Mr. Hipkins, 44, is the minister of public service, education, and police.

Before he is elected leader, the Labour Party must still formally support him in the House of Representatives on Sunday.

The governor-general will officially accept Ms. Ardern's resignation on February 7 and name Mr. Hipkins as prime minister on behalf of King Charles III if he receives that support.

But if the new Labour leader wants to keep his position after the election in 2023, he will have a tough fight on his hands.

According to polls, inflation and growing social inequality caused Ms. Ardern's popularity to reach record lows.

They implied that the country's Labour Party received a similar low level of public support.

With Mr. Hipkins' selection, Kiri Allan, the justice minister, will no longer be able to immediately assume the position of prime minister and become the nation's first Maori leader.

When she announced her resignation, Ms. Ardern, who at 37 became the world's youngest female head of state when she assumed office in 2017, said the past five and a half years had been the "most fulfilling" of her life.

She did, however, add that managing the country during a "crisis" had been challenging because it coincided with the Covid pandemic, the Christchurch mosque shootings, and the White Island volcanic eruption.

A mixed response to Ms. Ardern's announcement led some to speculate that she was "running away before getting thrown out.".

She had, however, received "disgraceful" treatment from "bullies" and "misogynists," according to renowned New Zealand actor Sam Neill.

Mr. Hipkins will have only served as the country's leader for eight months if Labour loses the general election, though Harry Atkinson, the prime minister of New Zealand, held the position for the shortest time in 1884, lasting just eight days.

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