)

INTERNATIONAL

Chris Hipkins Sworn In As New Zealand's 41st Prime Minister As Jacinda Ardern Bows Out

Chris Hipkins has been sworn in as New Zealand's 41st Prime Minister.

He was formally appointed to the role in wellington, a week after Jacinda Ardern's shock resignation.

Prime Minister Hipkins built a reputation as the minister who led New Zealand's covid-19 strategy.

At the ruling labour party's caucus over the weekend, Hipkins received unanimous support to be promoted to lead the country, and now faces the uphill task of retaining power in the upcoming general elections in October.

Opinion polls have suggested that his party is trailing its conservative opposition, the national party, in popularity.

The country of five million was among the first to close borders. This move won plaudits for keeping New Zealand virus-free early in the pandemic, but frustration set in later among the kiwis tired of the zero-tolerance strategy, which saw nationwide lockdowns over a single infection.