Chris Hipkins was officially appointed as the 41st Prime Minister of New Zealand on Wednesday.
The 44-year-old, Hipkins has less than nine months to regain the trust of the public on his party before contesting a tough general election. The opinion polls indicate that the Labour Party is lagging behind its opposition party.
Outgoing prime minister Jacinda Ardern said last week she no longer had “enough in the tank” after steering the country through natural disasters, its worst-ever terror attack and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Her Labour government has increasingly struggled in the polls over the past two years, hampered by soaring inflation, a looming recession and a resurgent conservative opposition.
Hipkins, the architect of New Zealand’s pandemic response, is now tasked with reviving the government’s sagging popularity ahead of a general election in October.
The father-of-two is nicknamed “Chippy” and describes himself as a “regular, ordinary Kiwi”.