Jacinda Ardern bids an emotional farewell as Chris Hipkins becomes the new PM of New Zealand


New Zealand~Wellington
Jacinda Ardern leaves Parliament as prime minister for the last time on January 25 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Wednesday saw the inauguration of a new prime minister in New Zealand, six days after Jacinda Ardern's shocking resignation ahead of the impending election.

On Wednesday, Chris Hipkins, 44 years old, was sworn in at a ceremony in the capital Wellington.

Hipkins was elected to Parliament for the first time in 2008 and led the country's Covid-19 plans in 2020. Before becoming prime minister, he held the positions of minister of education, minister of police, minister of the public service, and speaker of the house.

Sunday, the dominant Labour party unanimously nominated Hipkins to succeed Ardern as its leader. He was the sole candidate.

Videos depict Ardern exiting Parliament on Wednesday to praise and cheers. Several legislators and staff employees had gathered outside, and several were visibly sad as they said their goodbyes.

Tuesday marked Ardern's last official engagement as prime minister; she and Hipkins visited the annual Mori religious festival in the village of Rtana.

"On the work, I have encountered love, compassion, empathy, and kindness. This has been my most prevalent experience. Therefore, I depart with a sense of appreciation for having held this magnificent position for so many years," Ardern told reporters at the occasion.

"I would hate for anyone to interpret my departure as a criticism of New Zealand," she continued.

The most crucial piece of advice that Ardern provided Hipkins was, "you do you."

"This is now for him. His responsibility is to carve out his place and become his kind of leader. I am unable to offer any advice. She stated, "I can share information and experiences, but this is his moment."

Ardern stated, "You won't find me commenting on domestic politics; I've had my time," adding, "I'm ready to be a backbench MP; I'm ready to be a sister and a mother."

In 2017, when she became prime minister at 37, Ardern was New Zealand's third female leader and one of the country's youngest leaders. In less than a year, she became the second world leader to give birth while in office.

Last Thursday, she declared her desire to quit, speaking candidly about the toll the job has taken on her and reflecting on the different crises she has faced as the nation's leader, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2019 Christchurch terrorist tragedy.

"The only intriguing viewpoint you will find is that I am human after six years of significant obstacles. "Politicians are people," she stated. "We give everything we can for as long as possible, and then the moment comes. And it is time for me."

Publish : 2023-01-25 12:32:00

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