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Who Is Chris Hipkins, New Zealand’s 41st Prime Minister replacing Jacinda Ardern?

The Labour Party leader was among the close circle of former PM Ardern and also became a household name after being the Minister for COVID-19 Response.

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Picture courtesy: Mark Coote/Bloomberg
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New Delhi: Chris Hipkins was sworn in as the 41st Prime Minister of New Zealand after the unexpected resignation of Jacinda Ardern. The Labour Party leader was among the close circle of former PM Ardern and also became a household name after being the Minister for COVID-19 Response. Meanwhile, Carmel Sepuloni of the Labour Party became the first person with Pacific Island heritage to be sworn in as the Deputy Prime Minister of the country.

Who is Chris Hipkins?

Chris Hipkins has been part of various ministries under Jacinda Ardern. Holding press conferences and tackling COVID-19 as the Minister for COVID-19 Response made him popular in his country. He has also served as Minister of Education, Minister for Public Service, Leader of the House and Minister of Police before becoming the 41st PM of New Zealand.

His political career began with his involvement with the Victoria University Students’ Association while he was studying Politics and Criminology there. As per him, his ‘defining moment’ in politics came in 1997 when he was arrested for protests against the educational policy and he had to spend 12 years in jail before the government apologised and gave compensation to protestors.

He and Ardern worked as young advisers under the Clark government and entered parliament as opposition MPs in 2008.

After being given the duty of COVID-19 response, he has also been part of social media trends and memes, one of which includes him asking people to go out and spread their legs instead of asking them to stretch their legs.

Personal life

The New Zealand PM married Jade Maries Hipkins in 2020 and has two children. His biography tells that he has hobbies including mountain biking and swimming.

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