Jacinda Ardern has handed over her position to Chris Hipkins as Prime Minister of New Zealand.

"This is the greatest privilege and responsibility of my life", says Hipkins.

New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern, in the middle, along with his party group. Ardern left the post of the country's prime minister.
New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern, in the middle, along with his party group. Ardern left the post of the country's prime minister.

Ardern submitted her resignation on Wednesday, local time, to the country's governor-general, who has now sworn in successor Chris Hipkins as Prime Minister.

After his last appearance as the country's leader, Ardern was met by a crowd of about 300 people – politicians and people from the public – who were outside the parliament building to say goodbye. Together, they hailed the outgoing leader with a spontaneous applause.

It was last week that 42-year-old Ardern announced her resignation.

"I know what the job requires, and I know that I no longer have enough fuel in my mind to do the job justice", said Jacinda Ardern during a meeting with Labor members.

Ardern became Prime Minister of a coalition government in 2017 and then led her Labor to a convincing victory in an election three years later. She has been hailed for her handling of the terrorist attack against two mosques in 2019 and a deadly volcanic eruption later that year, and initially during the corona pandemic also for the country's strict covid policy.

However, Ardern's policy has declined in popularity in recent months, partly due to a threatening recession and a more alert conservative opposition.