When the public learnt Jacinda was (wisely) pulling stumps, I suspect few if any New Zealanders would have picked Chris Hipkins as her successor. Chris subsequently claimed how thick he was with Jacinda to explain his shock elevation.
It’s nonsense. No-one was closer to the former PM than Grant Robertson, a career politician despite his protestations, with Prime Ministerial ambitions. Grant is a clever bugger and knows only too well the government will be massacred this October. He also knows, as our post-war history shows, that following a heavy defeat, better to let some-one else be the fall-guy then move on him or her a year before the next election, or in good times (which won’t be the case in the next few years), let two successive election fall-guys cop it, as we saw with Labour following Key’s 2008 success.
The incoming National government face a mountain of problems so it’s my pick Grant will make his move in early 2026 when a victory could be feasible.