Several Candidates are Competing for New Zealand Premiership After Ardern’s Surprising Departure

After New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced she was stepping aside, several candidates have been put forward as her possible successor. So was Kiri Allen, who would be the first Prime Minister with Maori roots.

 

Arderns Labor Party is organizing a party council on Sunday to elect a new leader. The parliamentary elections will take place on October 14, later this year. Whoever emerges as the new prime minister will immediately face the difficult task of boosting the Labor Party’s popularity figures by October.

The favourite in the race is 44-year-old Chris Hipkins, the “corona minister” who opted for a strict but effective pandemic strategy. With fourteen years of parliamentary experience under his belt and knowledge of various ministerial posts, Hipkins is pointed out as a significant contender.

Kiri Allan also hopes to take over from Ardern. The former business lawyer entered parliament in 2017. Since then, the 39-year-old politician has often been touted as the future leader, if not the country’s first Maori head of government. The party’s Maori caucus meets on Saturday and is expected to influence the final choice of who will be the next prime minister.

Like Allan, Michael Wood, another candidate, is relatively new to the political scene. But since entering parliament in 2016, he has quickly gained notoriety. The 42-year-old politician is currently Minister of Immigration and Transport. In addition, wood is known for his extensive speaking talent.

On Thursday, current Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that she would resign by February 7. “I know what this job demands, and I don’t have enough in the tank anymore. It’s that simple,” said the 42-year-old head of government. “We give everything we can while we can, and then it’s time. And it’s time for me.” The politician was internationally praised for how she handled the decision.

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