Jan 22 • 6M

The new 'bread and butter' PM from the Hutt

Hipkins pledges to 'rein in programmes and projects that aren't essential right now'; says his complete focus is on economy and cost of living; but won't do anything to lower house prices

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Hipkins says he has heard the message that some New Zealanders “feel that we are doing too much, too fast”. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

TLDR: Prime Minister-elect Chris Hipkins has pledged at his first full press conference since the Labour Caucus confirmed he was their sole choice to be Prime Minister to “rein in programmes and projects that aren’t essential right now”.

He also said the Government’s sole focus was on the economy and dealing with cost of living and inflation issues that had developed globally and here since Covid. He signalled his new Cabinet, which he would announce next week, would tighten spending on some projects. He also indicated he would stop using ‘co-governance’, which he said had become a catchphrase that was misunderstood.

He was critical of the use of the word ‘transformational,’ which was also a ‘catchphrase’ that had become misunderstood. He said he wanted his Government to focus on the ‘bread and butter’ issues and said he did not want to do anything to further lower house prices. He named Carmel Sepuloni as his Deputy PM, the first Pasifika Deputy PM, and said Kelvin Davis would continue to be Labour’s Deputy Leader.

Here’s a selection of the key quotes from the news conference (bolding mine) for paying subscribers, along with my analysis in the podcast above.

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