US News: Jacinda Ardern’s successor Chris Hipkins sworn in as New Zealand’ prime minister – New York Daily News

He’s putting the “new” in New Zealand.

Chris Hipkins was sworn in as Prime Minister of the archipelago nation on Wednesday, replacing outgoing leader and international icon Jacinda Ardern.

Hipkins, 44, was chosen to lead the country’s left-leaning Labour Party after Ardern’s resignation announcement last week.

Ardern, 42, officially submitted her resignation on Wednesday, just ahead of Hipkins’ ceremony.

US News: Jacinda Ardern’s successor Chris Hipkins sworn in as New Zealand’ prime minister – New York Daily News

“This is the biggest privilege and responsibility of my life,” Hipkins said. “I’m energized and excited by the challenges that lie ahead.”

He previously served as the leader of New Zealand’s pandemic response. The country was initially lauded worldwide for its success in combating the virus. However, Kiwis grew restless as the pandemic dragged on and strict measures remained in place.

Hipkins’ tenure is only guaranteed to last until New Zealand’s Oct. 14 general elections. Recent polls showed the Labour Party trailing its right-wing rivals, the National Party.

Ardern was the youngest female head of state in the world when she was sworn in, quickly becoming an international figure and the face of New Zealand’s successful COVID policy.

However, she said the job wore her down during her five years in charge.

“I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice,” she said in announcing her resignation. “It is that simple.”

With News Wire Services

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