New Zealand's Prime Minister Chris Hipkins speaks in Ratana, New Zealand. AP
The Labour party elected former COVID-19 Response and Police minister Hipkins, 44, to lead the party and the country on Sunday. Ardern, 42, resigned last week, saying she had "no more in the tank" to lead the country.
Hundreds gathered in the grounds of Parliament as Ardern left for the final time, hugging each of her members of parliament in turn, with many looking visibly emotional.
She then travelled to Government House, where she tendered her resignation to King Charles' representative in New Zealand, Governor General Cindy Kiro.
New Zealand's new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins signs during the ceremony. AFP
Hipkins and his deputy Carmel Sepuloni — the first person of Pacific Islander descent to hold the role — were then sworn in, in a ceremony lasting a few minutes.
Hours later, Hipkins met with journalists after his first cabinet meeting as Prime Minister. Bombarded with questions about the cost of living hours after fresh price data came in above analyst forecasts, Hipkins said he would make the issue central to his policy agenda.
However, he pushed back against announcing new policies immediately, saying he would make haste but not create policy "on the fly”.
"New Zealanders will absolutely see in the coming weeks and months that cost of living is right at the heart of our work programme,” he said.
"It is the number one priority that we are facing as a government and they will see tangible evidence of that. Obviously I’m not going to make it up on the fly, as I’ve already indicated."
Chris Hipkins (centre left) smiles while sworn in as New Zealand's next Prime Minister in Wellington. AP
Hipkins said he would honour commitments already made for the current term of parliament.
Known as "Chippy", Hipkins is well-known to New Zealanders for his competence in tackling COVID-19, though he acknowledged some mistakes in handling the pandemic and faces a tough battle to retain power in an October general election.
A 1News-Kantar poll released in December had Labour's support falling to 33% from 40% at the start of 2022, meaning the party would not be able to form a majority even with traditional coalition partner the Green Party at 9%. The opposition National Party has benefited from Labour's decline.
A comedian has apologised to New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after baking a cake in her image.
The quake struck just off the coast before 8am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.
Ardern's strategy to eliminate the virus using strict border controls and snap lockdowns has widespread support in New Zealand, but her government has faced criticism over its vaccination progress, among the slowest in the OECD.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the Israeli authorities to reduce escalation and not take steps to exacerbate tension and instability in the region.
The Crown Prince and the Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, paid a visit to Sharjah Safari in Al Bridi Reserve in Al Dhaid on Thursday.
The Burj Khalifa’s Twitter account said, “Burj Khalifa lights up in celebration of India’s Republic Day. Wishing its people prosperity and peace.”