Hipkins promises to get 'closer to business' in first outing as PM

Thu, Jan 26
Chris Hipkins greeted Auckland Business Chamber CEO Simon Bridges as 'my old friend'.

Newly-minted Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has fronted business leaders in Auckland today.

The meeting was a roundtable with Auckland Business Chamber at its headquarters this morning.

The meeting included past-sparring partner Simon Bridges, the former leader of the National Party who is now the chief executive of the Chamber.

It’s the first major outing for Hipkins as prime minister, with a full day scheduled including attendance at Titewhai Harawira’s tangi.

Speaking at the event, Hipkins said it signified the Government getting "closer to business".

He said Auckland had weathered particular pressure over recent years.

He acknowledge the "breadth and depth" of the Government's work programme.

"Our priorities now are very different."

He said the Government was refocusing and he considered the business sector as very important.

Hipkins said he was aware of the "tightness" of the labour market and saw immigration as one part of how to address it, but not the only way.

He thanked the Chamber for the opportunity to attend and have a "free and frank conversation" with those gathered.

The meeting was then closed to the public.


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