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New Zealand: Chris Hipkins set to be new prime minister

The education minister is the only candidate in the race to replace Jacinda Ardern, but still needs the endorsement from his Labour Party colleagues.


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New Zealand’s Education Minister Chris Hipkins is set to become the country’s new prime minister following the resignation of Jacinda Ardern.

Hipkins’ endorsement by his Labour Party colleagues should just be a formality.

Hipkins was the only candidate to enter the race to replace Ardern on Saturday.

More to follow…

kb/rt (Reuters, AP)

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Thursday that she would be stepping down from her role by February 7 after five and a half years, New Zealand media reported.

“For me it’s time,” she told members of her Labour Party, making clear that there was no secret scandal behind her resignation. “I just don’t have enough in the tank for another four years.”

Ardern was visibly upset as she made her announcement in a televised press conference.

“This has been the most fulfilling five and a half years of my life,” local news site NZ Herald reported her as saying.

“I am leaving because with such a privileged job comes a big responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead — and also when you’re not,” she said.

Stepping down ahead of general election

The prime minister also announced that a general election would take place on October 14.

“While I won’t be contesting the election, I know the issues that impact New Zealanders most will remain the focus of the government through this year and into the election,” Ardern said.

Ardern’s Labour Party will begin looking for a successor with a caucus vote on Saturday. 


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