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New Zealand Labour Party: Chris Hipkins Sole Candidate to Replace Jacinda Ardern as Leader

FILE - Chris Hipkins, then New Zealand's COVID-19 Response Minister, speaks during a press conference in Wellington, New Zealand, on Oct. 28, 2021. Hipkins is expected to be named the country's next prime minister.

Chris Hipkins is set to replace Jacinda Ardern as leader of the Labour party and New Zealand's prime minister after being the only candidate to be nominated for the role, the Labour Party said in a statement Saturday.

Hipkins is expected to be confirmed as the new leader by a meeting of Labour’s 64 lawmakers, or Caucus, on Sunday.

First elected to parliament for the Labour Party in 2008, Hipkins, 44, became a household name fronting the government's response to the pandemic after being appointed minister for COVID-19 in November 2020. Hipkins is currently minister for the Police, Education, Public Service and serves as leader of the House.