His Holiness the Dalai lama. Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala – His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote to the Rt Hon Chris Hipkins to congratulate him on his appointment as Prime Minister of New Zealand and also wrote a letter of encouragement to outgoing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to express his admiration for the exemplary leadership she has shown during her term of office.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, has written to the new Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt Hon Chris Hipkins, congratulating him on becoming the 41st Prime Minister of New Zealand on January 25, 2023.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote, “Over the years, I have been able to visit your beautiful country several times and have been deeply touched by the interest that people from all walks of life have shown in my efforts to promote a sense of the oneness of humanity and the need for inter-religious harmony."

“Today, the world is passing through very testing times. I wish you every success in meeting the challenges that lie ahead in fulfilling the needs and aspirations of the people of New Zealand,” His Holiness said.

In a separate letter to the outgoing Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, His Holiness expressed admiration for the exemplary leadership she had shown during her tenure. He particularly applauded the way she responded with calm, compassion and respect for others in the face of the tragic deaths and many injuries that occurred as a result of the shootings in Christchurch in March 2019.

His Holiness added that, although she will no longer be Prime Minister, he is confident that she will continue to do whatever she can to benefit the people of New Zealand and bring peace to others around the world.

Christopher John Hipkins is the 41st Prime Minister of New Zealand and the leader of the New Zealand Labour Party since 2023. Hipkins became the sole candidate to succeed Jacinda Ardern as leader of the Labour Party, after she announced her resignation as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party on January 19, 2023. He became leader of the party after being elected unopposed on January 22, 2023, and was therefore appointed Prime Minister by the Governor-General on January 25, 2023.

Hipkins has been the MP for Remutaka since the 2008 election. He served in opposition as Labour's education spokesperson. In the sixth Labour government, he served as Minister for Education, Police, Public Service and Leader of the House.