Following Jacinda Ardern’s abrupt resignation last week, Chris Hipkins was sworn in as New Zealand’s 41st prime minister on Wednesday.
Hipkins, 44, has promised a return to the basics with a focus on the economy and what he called the “pandemic of inflation.”
His Labour Party is lagging the conservative opposition in opinion polls, and he will have less than nine months until a difficult national election.
After accepting Ardern’s resignation earlier, New Zealand Governor-General Cindy presided over the brief swearing-in ceremony in front of his friends and coworkers.
“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.”
Additionally, Carmel Sepuloni, the first person of Pacific Island descent to hold the position of deputy Prime Minister, was sworn in. She praised Hipkins and expressed her gratitude for his confidence in her.