Why Jacinda Ardern chose Chris Hipkins as temporary Health Minister

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed why she chose Education Minister Chris Hipkins as David Clark's replacement following his resignation.

On Thursday Clark announced he would resign as the Health Minister following weeks of controversy over his various breaches of the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Ardern selected Hipkins as temporary Health Minister until the September election. He is also the Education Minister as well as Minister of State Services. 

Ardern went on to say Hipkins' experience will hold him in good stead to be interim Health Minister.

"The reason I chose Minister Hipkins is in part because of the experience he has with an operational ministry of significant scale but also his role in state services," she said.

Hipkins added he was looking forward to the role as he "likes a good challenge".

"I have experience working in a big portfolio that has a lot of complexity - I didn't have any experience working in the education portfolio when I became Education Minister," he said.

"I will be giving it my all up until the election - what happens after that is a question for the Prime Minister."

In April, Clark was found to have breached COVID-19 lockdown by driving to a mountain bike track, and then 20kms to a beach with his family. He also moved house during lockdown.

At the time, Clark offered his resignation but the Prime Minister refused it, saying the pandemic was too urgent to have any shake up to the role. 

On Thursday Clark accepted responsibility for his decisions and said "the team" had to come first. With no community transmission in New Zealand and the focus shifting to border control, Clark admitted it was time for him to go. 

"It is appropriate for me to move on."