Chris Hipkins has today been sworn in as prime minister, formally completing the handover of power from Jacinda Ardern.
Ardern left Parliament as prime minister for the final time this morning, heading to Government House to officially tender her resignation and shift to the back benches.
Hipkins and incoming deputy prime minister Carmel Sepuloni arrived there about 11.20am for the swearing-in ceremony.
The new prime minister has a hefty to-do list to get through, with a ministerial reshuffle to come next week and a full policy reset.
Along with taking up the top job, Hipkins himself was invested as Minister of National Security and Intelligence.
He resigned his portfolios today – at least until next week’s reshuffle – with acting ministers taking over: Stuart Nash as Police Minister, Jan Tinetti in Education, and Grant Robertson as Leader of the House and Public Service Minister.
Hipkins has signalled tackling the “inflation pandemic” will be a top priority for his cabinet’s slimmed-down work programme.
Ardern announced her resignation as prime minister late last week, saying she knew she no longer had “enough in the tank to do it justice”. She has been prime minister for five years and said she had hoped to find a way to prepare for another year and another term in office, but could not.
She gave her final speech as prime minister at Rātana celebrations on Tuesday, where she thanked New Zealanders for their love and empathy.
“For my part, I want you to know that my overwhelming experience in this job of New Zealand and New Zealanders has been one of love, empathy and kindness,” she said.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz