Chris Hipkins (44) is to become the new head of New Zealand’s government: the current Minister of Education, Police and Public Services was the only candidate put forward by the Labour Party of outgoing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Hipkins has been in parliament since 2008 but is best known for his role as minister in charge of COVID-19 at the height of the pandemic. The 44-year-old politician’s appointment has yet to be formally ratified by the Labour Party, which is scheduled to do so on Sunday, Labour group leader Duncan Webb said on Saturday in a statement.
After that, Ardern is expected to resign formally and Hipkins will be sworn in as New Zealand’s 41st prime minister.
Ardern, who as a 37-year-old became one of the world’s youngest female heads of government in 2017, announced this week that she was resigning from her post as of 7 February. She said she no longer had enough energy for it.
New Zealanders are to elect a new parliament on 14 October.