AFP

Chris Hipkins replaced Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister of New Zealand

Hundreds gathered to welcome Jacinda Ardern as she left New Zealand’s parliament to step down as prime minister on Wednesday before Chris Hipkins was sworn in to replace her. Ardern said last week that she did not have “enough in the tank” after leading the country. natural disasters, its worst terrorist attacks and the covid-19 pandemic. Hipkins was sworn in by Governor-General Cindy Kiro at a ceremony in the capital, Wellington, saying she was “enthusiastic and excited about the challenges ahead”. It is the greatest privilege and responsibility of my life,” he said. The 44-year-old is now tasked with reversing the government’s declining popularity, which has been hampered by a deteriorating economy and a resurgent conservative opposition. Hundreds of staff and onlookers applauded as he exited the building. Prince William was one of the first to congratulate Ardern. “Thank you Jacinda Ardern for your friendship, leadership and support over the years, not at the time of my grandmother’s death,” he wrote on his official Twitter account. Folk singer Yusuf Cat Stevens, who played a concert in memory of the 51 people killed in the 2019 Christchurch mosque massacre, also praised Ardern. On Twitter, he described Ardern as a “supporter of the peace train that brought New Zealanders together after the terror. Attack on Christchurch. Ardern was first elected as prime minister in 2017, before riding the wave of “Jaycindamania” to a landslide victory in 2020. In recent months it has been battling rising inflation, a housing affordability crisis and a growing recession. After chairing his first cabinet meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Hipkins said it was a “very proud moment” for him. Take the “baton of responsibility” from Ardern. He singled out the cost of living as one of his most urgent priorities, but was lenient in pressing other potential policy changes. By raising New Zealand’s profile on the world stage. Hipkins said he would build his own relationships, but he hoped Ardern would “put in a good word”. The father of two is nicknamed “Chippy” and explains. Describes himself as a “regular, ordinary Kiwi” from a working-class background who likes sausage rolls and cycling to work. He has condemned the “absolutely disgusting” social media abuse leveled at Ardern, which intensified during her years as prime minister. Ardern said on Tuesday that she would “hate” her departure to be seen as a “negative comment about New Zealand”. “I leave with a sense of gratitude for having played this wonderful role for so many years,” she said. She will remain in parliament, but has announced her intention to step back from the cut and thrust of day-to-day politics. She is looking forward to getting her partner Clarke Gayford, a television personality who runs a popular fishing show, and her daughter, Neve, to school. Gayford said Ardern’s resignation was met with “incredible thanks and respect” and her “extraordinary efforts”. was very proud.ry/sft/dva.

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