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Wellington [New Zealand], January 22 (ANI): The next Prime Minister of New Zealand Chris Hipkins slammed the "abhorrent" treatment that Jacinda Ardern endured during her time and asked "men" to speak up about it, Stuff reported.

While addressing a news conference, Hipkins said, "We've got a way to go when it comes to ensuring that women in leadership receive the same respect as their male counterparts.""The way Jacinda has been treated, particularly by some segments of our society, and they are a small minority, has been utterly abhorrent. It does not represent who we are as a country," he added.

Stuff is a New Zealand news media website owned by newspaper conglomerate Stuff Ltd (formerly called Fairfax).

These remarks came after Hipkins was confirmed as the next prime minister and leader of the Labour Party after a caucus vote, as per Stuff.

The incoming Prime Minister also said that the "abuse" that Arden suffered is not acceptable and the men have to take the responsibility to speak up about it, Hipkins said.

Hipkins was first elected to parliament in 2008 and was appointed minister for Covid-19 in November 2020.

He is currently the minister for police, education and public service.

Earlier, Jacinda Arden announced her resignation on Thursday and said the decision to stand down came during a reflective summer in the southern hemisphere. And with an election looming this October, she saw no need to prolong her departure, reported CNN.

"I had hoped that I would find what I needed to carry on over that period. But unfortunately, I haven't, and I would be doing a disservice to New Zealand to continue," she said.

She said her Government had achieved a lot and she was not standing down because she did not believe Labour could win the next election, but because she thought it could.

Speaking to the media, Ardern said there was no special "angle" or "real reason" why she wanted to resign, only that she was "human".

"To Neve, mum is looking forward to being there when you start school next year. To Clarke, let's finally get married."Nominations for the position of leader, and Prime Minister, had to be received by 9 am today (local time), reported RNZ.

The nomination needed the support of at least 10 per cent of the caucus - seven MPs - not including Hipkins.

It was the party's first vote of its kind since 2017. (ANI)

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