Wellington (Daily Pakistan Online) New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has resigned and Chris Hopkins will be the next Prime Minister of the country. He led the border crackdown during the pandemic and is seen as a ‘tough and competent’ politician.
The 44-year-old police and education minister emerged on Saturday as his Labor party’s sole contender to replace Jacinda Ardern after she resigned just 48 hours ago, according to news agency AFP. He will be formally endorsed for the prime ministership on Sunday.
Hopkins did excellent work for his nearly two-year tenure as the Covid response minister in a country that closed its borders to keep the coronavirus out. New Zealand fully reopened to the outside world in August last year. He later admitted that the lockdown was ‘going hard’ and said people tired of the restrictions would have to ease them.
Political commentator Josie Pagani has described Hopkins, who has been in opposition and government for more than 14 years, as ‘sensible, tough and capable’. Hopkins has been police minister since June last year, having previously served as education minister and public service minister for more than five years.
Hopkins, who describes himself as an ‘outdoorsy enthusiast’ who enjoys mountain biking, hiking and swimming, studied politics and criminology at the University of Victoria and then worked in industry training. Before becoming an MP in 2008, he served as a senior adviser to two Education Ministers and former Prime Minister Helen Clark.