Chris Hipkins' most memorable moments so far

Who is this Chris Hipkins who will take on the job of Prime Minister at the age of 44?

Christopher John Hipkins entered Parliament in 2008 as the MP for Remutaka and has held the electorate since.

He became Education Minister in 2017 when Labour took power. He oversaw significant change including abolishing charter schools, national standards and the decile system.

Hipkin has become Labour's Mr Fix-it, parachuted in to take over the COVID-19 response from David Clark in 2020. Last year, he took over as Police Minister from under-fire minister Poto Williams.

So what are some of his most memorable moments so far?

He fronted many COVID-19 press conferences, including one in the middle of a park. He arrived suddenly seemingly out of a bush, sparking many memes. 

Asked on Saturday what he believes Kiwis will know him best for, he smiled.

"Well, there's one thing," he replied.

And what would that be? Likely when he it can be difficult for some Kiwis to get outside and "spread their legs" during the COVID pandemic.

"I'm sure you will all have fun with me later," he later said.

And boy, have Kiwis had their fun with him. 

But who is the Prime Minister primed for the memes?

"My parents came from relatively humble beginnings and worked really hard to provide a good life for my brother and I," he said on Saturday.

They're parents whose phone has been ringing off the hook.

"We are quite proud of him but we are also proud of his brother," his father, Doug, told Newshub.

"Both boys have grown up to be role models for the younger generation and we are very proud of that more than anything."

The former head boy, Hipkins has long been a politician. In a school magazine in 1996, a poll of students said Chris was most likely to become Prime Minister, his father said.

Newshub asked the incoming Prime Minister if he was always destined for the top job.

"I don't believe in destiny in politics. I believe in hard work," he said. 

Hipkins entered Parliament in 2008 and weathered the wilderness leadership woes in Opposition.

In Government, he became Education Minister and Mr Fix-it was parachuted in to clean up his colleagues' messes.

That included taking over as Health Minister after David Clark's lockdown bike ride and tossing Sir Ashley Bloomfield under the bus.

Hipkins then got the messiest job, the COVID-19 response, wrangling the vaccine rollout, lockdowns and managed isolation.

He got heat for the handling of locking out pregnant people like journalist Charlotte Bellis, who he has since apologised to. 

His most recent clean-up job was last year taking over from sinking Police Minister Poto Williams.

While Hipkins does have the reputation as a steady pair of hands, he is not known for being hip.

"I like to cycle, I like to garden, I like to be outdoors where I can, I like to DIY, maybe I don't have the best fashion sense in Parliament."

The daggy dad of two, who recently separated from his wife, isn't known for his fashion.

But he is known to a lot of Kiwis who Newshub spoke to around the country. 

Asked if there is anything he wanted to get off his chest or any skeletons in his closet, Hipkins replied: "I am a human being and with all humans, no one is perfect."

Our imperfect new Prime Minister.