Jacinda Ardern, Chris Hipkins’ predecessor, unexpectedly quit last week.
At the ceremony, Hipkins was sworn in by the Governor-General of New Zealand, Cindy Kerro. The 44-year-old Hipkins, the island nation’s 41st prime minister, promised in his inaugural address that he would focus on economic life affected by the inflationary pandemic. But New Zealand has held a general election in less than nine months, and opinion polls suggest Hipkins’ Labor Party could lag behind the opposition Conservatives.
Hipkins described the assignment as “the greatest privilege and responsibility of his life.” He emphasized that he is full of energy and excited about the tasks ahead. At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Cipollone was inaugurated at the ceremony: this is the first time that a politician from a Pacific island, a Tongan, can hold the position.
Hipkins was often referred to by the nickname Chibi, which stuck to him because of his playful disposition, and he allegedly had a reputation as a witty man. In Ardern’s government, she led the ministries responsible for policing, education and public services. During the epidemic, more attention was paid to it, as it played an important role in treating the coronavirus epidemic.
Jacinda Ardern has unexpectedly resigned after five and a half years as Prime Minister. The 42-year-old politician explained his decision by saying that he was very tired from the difficult past years and wanted to devote his life to his family for a while. However, he will continue his work in the Legislative Council until April.
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