Sole nominee secures Labour endorsement for prime minister, with Carmel Sepuloni as deputy, and incumbent’s last engagements on Tuesday


Chris Hipkins will be New Zealand’s next prime minister following a formal vote that endorsed him as Jacinda Ardern’s successor after her shock resignation on Thursday.

New Zealand will also swear in its first ever Pasifika deputy prime minister, with social development minister Carmel Sepuloni, who is of Tongan and Samoan descent, to take the role.

Ardern’s last engagements as prime minister will be on Tuesday, and Hipkins will be officially sworn in on Wednesday morning.

“I take on this job at a challenging time for New Zealanders,” Hipkins said in his first speech after the vote, promising a laser focus on economic issues. “Covid-19 and the global pandemic created a health crisis, and now it’s created an economic one – and that’s where my government’s focus will be.

“Our focus will be on the right now, on the bread and butter issues that people care about. Some people, many people are hurting at the moment, and I want them to know that we are on their side.”

Hipkins promised to strip back Labour’s legislative agenda to refocus on the economy, saying he would immediately begin “reining in some programmes and projects that aren’t essential right now”. (Courtesy the Guardian)


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