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Emotional moment Jacinda Ardern walks out of New Zealand parliament for the final time to a guard of honour
- Jacinda Ardern has left NZ parliament for the final time
- She was met with a huge, cheering crowd on the forecourt
- Chris Hipkins will take over following her shock resignation
Ms Ardern stepped outside the Executive Building – or the Beehive – to an outpouring of support and applause from Labour MPs, government staff and members of the public on the parliament forecourt on Wednesday.
She embraced each member of her own party who stood by to see her off, many of whom appeared emotional as she hugged them.
Ms Ardern’s fiance Clarke Gayford walked behind her as she slowly made her way through the crowd towards her car.
Former New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) has been met with a cheering crowd as she left parliament for the final time
She received an outpouring of support on the parliament forecourt as she made towards her car on Wednesday
‘I can’t actually see where I’m going,’ she said at one point, reports the New Zealand Herald.
She eventually reached her car and was driven away to government house.
There she will meet with Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro, where she will formally resign as the country’s leader.
Ms Ardern surprised Kiwis and much of her party last Thursday when she announced her resignation at Labour’s year-starting retreat in Napier.
She explained that she was burnt out and had ‘no more in the tank’.
Ms Ardern said Kiwis would still see her around, but not in public debates.
‘You won’t find me commentating on domestic politics. I’ve had my time,’ she said.
‘I’m ready to be lots of things. I’m ready to be a backbench MP. I’m ready to be a sister and a mum.’
Ms Ardern embraced each member of her own party who stood by to see her off
Chris Hipkins (pictured) has been sworn in as New Zealand’s next prime minister by the governor general
Chris Hipkins has been sworn in as New Zealand’s next prime minister by the governor general following Ms Ardern’s formal resignation.
He will head back to parliament and chair his first Cabinet meeting and hold a press conference afterwards.
Ms Ardern has described the former police minister as a ‘personable, down to earth and practical’ man.
Ms Ardern will head to the backbench for three months, resigning her seat in April ahead of an October 14 election.
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