New Zealand Labour MP Chris Hipkins is set to replace Jacinda Ardern as prime minister after becoming the only nominee for the party’s leadership.
He was first elected to parliament in 2008 and was appointed minister for Covid-19 in November 2020.
In Ms Ardern’s shock announcement on Thursday she said she did not have “enough in the tank” to lead.
The amount of time Mr Hipkins will spend in the role is uncertain as New Zealand goes to the polls in October.
He is currently minister for police, education and public service.
He will still need to be formally endorsed by New Zealand’s Labour caucus on Sunday.
And he faces an uphill battle if he wants to remain in the top job after the 2023 election.
Inflation and increasing social inequality saw Ms Ardern’s popularity as leader fall to all-time lows according to the latest opinion polls.
They also suggested public approval of the country’s Labour Party were similarly low.
During her resignation announcement, Ms Ardern – who at 37 became the youngest female head of government in the world when she took office in 2017 – said the past five-and-a-half years had been the “most fulfilling” of her life.
However, she added that leading the country during “crisis” had been difficult – with the Covid pandemic, Christchurch mosque shootings and White Island volcanic eruption taking place during her premiership.
Reaction to Ms Ardern’s resignation announcement was mixed, with some suggesting she was “running away before getting thrown out”.
Others, like Auckland Pride’s Max Tweedie, described her as “one of the greatest prime ministers in New Zealand’s history”. (BBC)