New Zealand PM-designate Chris Hipkins calls abuse against Jacinda Ardern 'abhorrent'

The New Zealand Prime Minister-designate Chris Hopkins has called the abuse that Jacinda Ardern faced during her time as the Prime Minister of the country ‘abhorrent’. Last week, the current Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, announced that she will be leaving her position on February 7 after being left with no energy to continue. This came as a shock to almost everyone as Jacinda Ardern was one of the most celebrated Prime Ministers in New Zealand’s history. She was the youngest female Prime Minister in New Zealand. Hence, her saying that she has no energy left to continue serving the country as Prime Minister baffled many people in the country. Many blamed the conspiracy theorists and people who targeted the New Zealand government during the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, which put a significant strain on the government and national officials. Addressing that, Chris Hipkins, who will be holding the position of Prime Minister once Ardern resigns, said that the abuse faced by Ardern was ‘abhorrent’, meaning completely disgusting.  He even pledged to protect himself and his family against such abuse. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is praised globally for her political and personal actions, especially her management of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was even praised by the WHO. But while achieving this level of control over the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Ardern had to implement some stringent lockdown measures along with mandatory vaccination protocols. This sparked significant anger amongst the anti-vax community in the country. This resulted in rising threats against Jacinda Ardern. One person even published a YouTube video where he issued a death threat against Prime Minister Ardern, claiming that he has the right to shoot the Prime Minister on the grounds of treason and treachery. The people who abused Prime Minister Ardern, although having a significant minority against her supporters, managed to affect her mental health. 

Jacinda Ardern expressed in her message that she has nothing left in the tank to continue in the position of Prime Minister. After her announcement, her party chose Chris Hipkins as her successor to the position. While addressing the MPs of his party, Hipkins accused this small group of people of abusing the current Prime Minister. He further added that by accepting the position of Prime Minister, he immediately will become a public figure, thus allowing the people of New Zealand to react and criticize his actions. But he does not want his family to experience such criticism of public exposure, especially after witnessing the abuse that Ardern faced during her time as the PM of the country.

By June 2022, the threats against Prime Minister Ardern had increased by almost threefold during the last three years. According to the local media reports, almost eight cases of threat were legally reported by government officials. The man who uploaded the YouTube video claiming that he has the right to shoot PM Ardern was also included in these cases. Along with this, there was an incident where pamphlets that stated intentions of eradicating the Prime Minister, were circulated to several houses in the country.