Chris Hipkins was sworn as New Zealand’s 41st prime minister, following the unexpected resignation last week of Jacinda Ardern.
Hipkins, 44, has promised a back-to-basics approach focusing on the economy and what he described as the “pandemic of inflation”. He will have less than 9 months before contesting a tough general election, with opinion polls indicating his Labour Party is trailing its conservative opposition.
New Zealand Governor-General Cindy Kiro officiated the brief swearing in ceremony in front of friends and colleagues after earlier accepting Ardern’s resignation.
“This is the biggest privilege and responsibility of my life”, - Hipkins said at the ceremony. - “I’m energized and excited by the challenges that lie ahead”.