It’s Chris Hipkins’ birthday today, and to celebrate we’re taking a look back at some of his most defining moments.
During his time at Parliament, he’s led New Zealand through some difficult times, delivered change that will make a real difference to Kiwis' lives, and given us a few laughs.
Whether you call him Prime Minister, Chris or Chippy – he’s got your back, and he’s in it for you.
Here's our top 10 favourite Chippy moments:
Free and healthy lunches in schools
Focused on the literal bread and butter issues, Chippy knows a full tummy makes a world of difference to a child being able to learn. Our free and healthy lunches in schools programme kicked off back when he was Education Minister. Now, it’s delivered more than 100 million lunches to kids across the country – feeding more than 230,000 students, and helping parents with the cost of living.
The faux pas...
The eyebrow raise says it all.
Backing communities to recover and rebuild
Almost immediately after becoming Prime Minister, New Zealanders faced devastation caused by the Auckland Anniversary Floods, and then Cyclone Gabrielle - the most significant weather event our country has experienced this century. Chris made it clear that his Government was committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with the affected regions as they recovered – backing them to lead their local responses. He put in place support for hard-hit regions like Hawkes Bay, and visited affected communities to ensure support went where it was most needed.
There's still more work to do, and Chris and the team remain committed to making sure affected regions can build back better, safer, and smarter. This includes making sure communities are better prepared to withstand the next extreme weather event.
Dirty dogs and sweats
The boy from the Hutt hasn’t left his roots behind. A man of the people, his dress sense hasn’t changed – but it has stood the test of time.
Anyone can dress like the Prime Minister if they chuck on the classic combo of a hoodie, dirty dogs and a cap.
Real, practical cost of living support
Things are tough right now for many Kiwis, as global inflation has driven up the cost of living. Under his leadership, Labour has provided practical cost of living support across some of the key expenses facing New Zealanders – childcare, healthcare, transport and power bills. And he’s announced more to come, like extending free dental, taking GST off fruit and vege, lifting incomes for working families, and lots more. Check out Labour’s 10-point Cost of Living Plan here.
Sausage rolls, with a side of international wins
A lover of cuisine, his fine dining preference is well-known and embraced by leaders around the world. Chris has scored some big wins for New Zealanders on international trade trips this year – including securing lucrative free trade deals, promoting Kiwi products on the world stage, and improving the rights of Kiwis living in Australia. We put at least some of this success down to the sausage rolls.
The gingerbread men
He’s a ginger man, making gingerbread men… enough said.
When Chris was a kid, he wanted to be an electrician. He's a staunch advocate for education, and under his watch, the Apprenticeship Boost was introduced a few years ago. The programme has now supported over 60,000 Kiwis to stay in or take up apprenticeships. This is a great example of how Government can get alongside and support business to invest in their next generation of talent. It’s a win-win.
The Spiderman meme
Back in 2022, Chris was asked in a written parliamentary question if he as Minister of Education had met with the Minister for Covid-19 response. At the time, he was the Minister for both and replied with a meme, in what was possibly a first for Parliament.
He likes a nice, long walk in nature
Emerging from the bushes, Chippy's unusual entrance to deliver an update to the media just a stone's throw from a Kāpiti Coast beach has been immortalised on the internet. In stark contrast to the polished floors and podium of Parliament, the Kiwiana elements of his appearance amused those watching and resulted in some lighthearted humour online.
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