Chris Hipkins to become Labour leader, replace Ardern as PM

January 21, 2023 8:12 am

Chris Hipkins. [Source: BBC News]

Education and police minister Chris Hipkins is set to become the new leader of the Labour Party and New Zealand’s next Prime Minister.

Hipkins was the only candidate to put his name forward for the top job, Labour whip Duncan Webb has confirmed.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson ruled himself out of the race on Thursday following the surprise announcement from Jacinda Ardern she would step away from the role.

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Announcing her retirement from the premiership and politics in Napier, Ardern said she “no longer had enough in the tank” to do the job justice.

She said she was not stepping down because she did not believe Labour could win the 2023 general election, but because she believed it could and wanted to allow space for a new leader to take the helm.

If Hipkins gains the endorsement of his colleagues, and his leadership of the party is confirmed, Ardern will tender her resignation to the Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro.

Hipkins would then be sworn in as Prime Minister to serve the remainder of the term.