Christopher Luxon responds to Chris Hipkins becoming Prime Minister, says nothing 'much has changed'

National Party leader Christopher Luxon is unfazed by facing a new opponent in this year's election after Jacinda Ardern suddenly resigned. 

Ardern announced she was stepping down from the top job at the Labour caucus retreat on Thursday.

She said she has given her absolute all but doesn't have enough in the tank for another term. 

She's being replaced by Chris Hipkins who was elected as the new Labour Party leader - and Prime Minister - on Sunday. 

But the change in leaders isn't causing any concern for the Opposition leader, who told AM on Monday nothing much has changed. 

"I don't think anything much has changed for us. I think the reality is it's the same team," Luxon told AM co-host Ryan Bridge on Monday.

"Essentially, you've had an openside flanker just move to number eight and a bit of a reshuffle because the reality is Chris Hipkins has been part of the holy trinity of Jacinda Ardern, Grant Robertson and himself driving this Government over the last five and a half years.

"So from our perspective, it's just carrying on, making sure we're reducing the cost of living crisis with rising incomes for all. We're restoring law and order and we're really making sure we get better health education outcomes. That's what we're focussed on. That's what New Zealanders are focussed on," he added. 

Luxon said Hipkins taking over doesn't fundamentally change anything, adding he was part of the previous Government and has to answer for its decisions. 

"He has been such a big part of a Government that has really just not delivered. The economy has gone backwards, healthcare systems are falling apart, education is at an all-time low, crime is rapidly rising, and the housing crisis hasn't been solved.

"You can dress it up and put new clothes on it but the reality is it's the same Government with the same people in the same place."

Speaking with AM after Luxon, Hipkins said he understands the everyday struggles of New Zealanders and is committed to ensuring hardworking people can get ahead. 

He said New Zealanders are facing increasing financial pressure as mortgage rates increase and the cost of basics such as food, petrol and power spike. 

"I understand what the issues are that are driving New Zealanders, and I want to make sure that my Government is absolutely focussed on those core bread and butter issues that are important to New Zealanders."