Chris Hipkins

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Chris Hipkins

Chris Hipkins 2.jpg
47th Minister of Education
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byNikki Kaye
19th Minister of State Services
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byPaula Bennett
11th Leader of the House
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded bySimon Bridges
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Rimutaka
Assumed office
8 November 2008
Preceded byPaul Swain
Personal details
Born (1978-09-05) 5 September 1978 (age 40)
Wellington, New Zealand
Political partyLabour (since 1996)
ResidenceUpper Hutt, New Zealand
Alma materVictoria University of Wellington
ProfessionMinisterial Advisor
WebsiteMP Chris Hipkin's Facebook page

Christopher John Hipkins (born 5 September 1978) is a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives. He is the Labour Party MP for Rimutaka, and was elected for the first time at the 2008 election. He serves as the Minister of Education for the current and Sixth Labour Government.

Early life[edit]

Hipkins was born in the Hutt Valley. He attended Waterloo Primary School, Hutt Intermediate and Hutt Valley Memorial College (later known as Petone College), where he was the Head Boy in 1996. He joined the Labour Party in the same year. Chris went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington, where he was Student President in 2000 and 2001.[1] Chris also holds a National Certificate in Adult Education and Training, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Policy from Victoria University of Wellington.

Professional life[edit]

After graduating, Hipkins held a number of jobs, including working as a policy advisor for the Industry Training Federation, and as a training manager for Todd Energy in Taranaki. Hipkins also worked in Parliament as an advisor to Trevor Mallard and Helen Clark.[1]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2008–2011 49th Rimutaka 47 Labour
2011–2014 50th Rimutaka 30 Labour
2014–2017 51st Rimutaka 9 Labour
2017–present 52nd Rimutaka 7 Labour

Fifth National Government, 2008–2017[edit]

Hipkins was selected to stand in the Labour seat of Rimutaka, following the retirement of sitting MP Paul Swain. Hipkins won the seat with a majority of 753.[2]

Following the election, Hipkins was appointed the Labour spokesperson for Internal Affairs.[3]

In May 2010, Hipkins' Electricity (Renewable Preference) Amendment Bill was drawn from the member's ballot.[4] It was defeated at its first reading in June.[4]

The 2011 General Elections saw Hipkins increase his winning margin in Rimutaka to 3,286.[5] Following that he became the Labour Party's Chief Whip. Hipkins also holds the State Services and Associate Education spokesperson roles.[6] In 2014 he increased his majority again to 6,664.[7]

In late 2015, Hipkins received veiled threats, including a death threat, for voicing his concerns about a billboard advertising guns.[8]

Coalition Government, 2017–present[edit]

Hipkins was elected as a Cabinet Minister by the Labour Party caucus following Labour's formation of a coalition government with New Zealand First and the Greens.[9] It was later announced that he will serve as Minister for Education.[10]

As Education Minister, Chris Hipkins has supported the abolition of National Standards and charter schools in New Zealand, policies promoted by the previous Fifth National Government. He has also signaled a review of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) high school certificate system. However, Hipkins has clarified that the Ministry of Education would continue to fund the University of Otago's National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement and the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT). The Government's announcement that it would close charter schools drew criticism from the opposition National and ACT parties.[11][12] In early 2018, Hipkins introduced legislation preventing the creation of new charter schools while enabling the existing charter schools to be converted into special character schools.[13] By September 2018, all twelve existing charter schools had successfully transitioned to become state integrated and special character schools.[14][15]

In December 2018, Hipkins rejected a recommendation by Victoria University of Wellington's Council to rename the university "University of Wellington", citing the strong opposition to the name change from staff, students, and alumni. In justifying his decision, Hipkins stated "that he was not convinced the university had sufficiently engaged with stakeholders, who should have their views considered."[16][17]

In February 2019, Hipkins proposed merging the country's polytechnics into a "NZ Institute of Skills and Technology" to counter deficits and declining domestic enrollments. This proposed Institute of Skills and Technology will also take over the country's vocational and apprenticeship programmes. While the Tertiary Education Union, Employers and Manufacturers Union, and the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce have expressed support for the Government's proposal, this has been criticised by the opposition National Party, Southern Institute of Technology CEO Penny Simmonds, and Mayor of Invercargill Tim Shadbolt.[18][19][20][21] In response to the Christchurch mosque shootings, Hipkins extended the polytechnic submission timeframe to 5 April 2019.[22]

In early May 2019, Hipkins announced that the Government would be investing NZ$95 million to train 2,400 new teacher trainees through increased scholarships and placements, new employment-based teacher education programmes, and iwi-based scholarships over the next four years to address the teaching shortage. These measures were criticised as inadequate by the Post Primary Teachers' Association and National Party education spokesperson Nikki Kaye.[23][24][25]


  1. ^ a b "Chris Hipkins – Profile". 12 December 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Official Count Results – Rimutaka". ElectionsNZ. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  3. ^ "New Zealand Parliament – Hipkins, Chris". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Electricity (Renewable Preference) Amendment Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  5. ^ Commission, New Zealand Electoral. "Official Count Results – Rimutaka". Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Election Results – Rimutaka". Electoral Commission.
  8. ^ "MP Chris Hipkins defiant over Gun City billboard in Taita, despite death threat". The Dominion Post. 3 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Who's in? Who's out?". Radio NZ. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Jacinda Ardern releases Cabinet lineup". Stuff. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  11. ^ Collins, Simon (30 October 2017). "Labour's education plans revealed: Primary school league tables axed, big NCEA shakeup". New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 16 August 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  12. ^ Moir, Jo (6 November 2017). "Education minister to review all charter schools after threatening some with closure". Archived from the original on 20 January 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Charter schools: Minister has a fight on his hands". Radio New Zealand. 12 February 2018. Archived from the original on 13 August 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  14. ^ Bracewell-Worrall, Anna (17 September 2018). "All NZ charter schools now approved to become state integrated". Newshub. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  15. ^ Collins, Simon (28 August 2018). "Charter school hold-outs approved as state schools". New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 4 January 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  16. ^ Long, Jessica; Williams, Katarina (19 December 2018). "Victoria University of Wellington name change rejected by Minister". Archived from the original on 5 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Victoria University of Wellington name change declined by education minister". Radio New Zealand. 18 December 2018. Archived from the original on 31 January 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  18. ^ Collins, Simon (13 February 2019). "Polytechnic mega-merger will take over apprentices and industry trainees". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  19. ^ Hunt, Tom; Richmond, Adele (14 February 2019). "Government proposes merging 16 polytechnics and technology institutes into single entity". Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  20. ^ Stolley, Giordano (2 March 2019). "Hostile southern reception for Hipkins". Otago Daily Times. Archived from the original on 21 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  21. ^ Savory, Logan (1 March 2019). "Education Minister Chris Hipkins grilled by concerned Southern Institute of Technology backers". Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  22. ^ "Education Minister Chris Hipkins extends polytechnic submission timeframe". 20 March 2019. Archived from the original on 21 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  23. ^ Kirk, Stacey; Cooke, Henry (2 May 2019). "Budget 2019: Government pours $95 million over four years into teaching resources". Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  24. ^ Cheng, Derek (2 May 2019). "$95 million in Budget package for thousands of new teachers". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  25. ^ Small, Zane (2 May 2019). "Budget 2019: Government sets aside $95 million to hire more teachers". Newshub. Retrieved 3 May 2019.

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Paul Swain
Member of Parliament for Rimutaka
Preceded by
Simon Bridges
Leader of the House
2017 – present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Rick Barker
Senior Whip of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Sue Moroney
Preceded by
Sue Moroney
Succeeded by
Kris Faafoi
Political offices
Preceded by
Nikki Kaye
Minister of Education
2017 – present
Preceded by
Paula Bennett
Minister of State Services
2017 – present