Ardern's 'important' words of advice for incoming PM Hipkins

Tue, Jan 24

Jacinda Ardern has imparted words of advice to Chris Hipkins ahead of his swearing-in as the next prime minister tomorrow.

Hipkins told reporters at Rātana this afternoon that he and the Prime Minister had spoken at length during the two-hour journey to Rātana Pā, near Whanganui.

"Any two people who’ve known each other for a long time, there’s lots of different things to reflect on," he said.

"We’ve talked about our experiences here at Rātana and over the years, we’ve both been here roughly, probably the same number of times and so we’re able to reflect on that."

He said Ardern had also offered him "a few words of advice which I will keep between the two of us".

"We were in the car for two hours so we had time to talk about plenty."

Hipkins remained tight-lipped on the details despite questioning, saying of his favourite piece of advice, "I’ll just keep that to myself."

Ardern, meanwhile, appeared teary-eyed as she spoke at Rātana for the final time as Prime Minister.

She similarly kept mum on the advice she gave to her successor.

"I couldn’t be specific because there was two hours of reckons so all of that’s for him," she told reporters.

However, she did reveal one thing she told him.

"You know what? Probably the most important advice I gave him was ‘you do you’. It’s for him."

Ardern denied there were any awkward silences on the car ride to the pā as the pair have been friends for "going on 20 years".

"You don’t have awkward silences at that time."

She added that it is now up to Hipkins to make his own decisions on how to lead the country.

"This is for him now. It’s for him to carve out his own space, be his own kind of leader.

"There’s no advice I can really impart. I can share information, I can share experiences but this is now for him."