New Zealand’s New Prime Minister

Chris Hipkins is our new Prime Minister. Jacinda Ardern resigned in January this year and a few days later Chris Hipkins agreed to become our next Prime Minister. He chose Carmel Sepuloni as the deputy Prime Minister.

Chris Hipkins is aged 44. He lives in Upper Hutt, which is in the Wellington area, and has 2 young children. All his formal education was in the Wellington region including at a primary school and high school in the Hutt Valley and then at Victoria University where he majored in politics and criminology. He was elected to Parliament in 2008. Since then, he has been Minister of Education, Minister of Police and leader of the House (of Parliament). Another responsibility for him was to try to eliminate COVID in New Zealand.

Carmel Sepuloni was born in Waitara. Her father was a migrant with a Samoan and Tongan background and her mother was a Pakeha New Zealander. Carmel is a teacher and has taught in Samoa and New Zealand. Since she starting working in parliament, she has served as Minister for Social Development and Employment, Minister for ACC, Minister for Disability Issues, and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.


formal education: this refers to the institutions where someone went to school and university. “Informal education” refers to life long learning from listening, reading, discussing ideas etc.

resigned: quit, stop doing a job

deputy: assistant, someone who will do the job for the leader if the leader is away

major in: mostly study (at University)

criminology: the study of crime

politics: the study of government

Minister: someone who leads the government in a particular issue

eliminate: get rid of, stop

pakeha: usually this means a New Zealander of European descent, sometimes it can mean anybody who is not Māori.

Extra vocabulary for fun: people who have family members throughout the Pacific Islands (Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Fiji, etc) sometimes jokingly say that their ethnicity is “fruit salad”

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.