This year was already set to be an eventful one in the realm of New Zealand politics. A full Parliamentary election is scheduled to be held in about nine months' time. But there would be a major shake-up before things even got that far.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would announce her intention to resign and would not stand for re-election. Her resignation also meant that the New Zealand Labour Party was in need of new leadership. Whoever became the next party leader would also in effect become the next prime minister. And it seems that the dual role has fallen to one of her top deputies.

Chris Hipkins becomes the new face of the Labour Party

Chris Hipkins is set to become the next prime minister of New Zealand, as indicated by ABC. Hipkins locked down the top job in his party after he emerged as the consensus favorite. Kiri Allan had been thought to be a viable candidate. Allan is currently New Zealand's justice minister and interestingly is a cousin of noted filmmaker and actor Taika Waititi. But Allan instead chose to throw her support behind Hipkins.

For his part, Hipkins had previously stressed the importance of unity in the selection of a new party leader. The New York Times notes that he compared party leadership contests to participating in the Hunger Games.

Hipkins was first elected to the New Zealand House of Representatives in 2008.

He holds a seat from the electorate of Remutaka, located in the Wellington region. Before being elected to office himself, he served as a staffer for a number of politicians. Including Prime Minister Helen Clark and future House Speaker Trevor Mallard.

During the course of Ardern's tenure as prime minister, Hipkins has held a number of prominent roles.

At the time of her resignation, he was leader of the House and the minister in charge of education, police and of the Public Service. He also served in multiple high-profile positions when Labour was in the Opposition. Such as the party's chief whip and as shadow leader of the House.

Carmel Sepuloni is slated to become deputy prime minister.

Sepuloni has been the minister for arts, culture and heritage; social development and the Accident Compensation Corporation.

Hipkins is a native of Hutt Valley. His mother, Rosemary, has been a top figure with the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Hipkins would receive a bachelor's degree in politics and criminology from Victoria University of Wellington. While there, he was for two years the student president. Later, he would work for the Todd Corporation.

Labour is set to face off with the National Party in the election

However the upcoming Parliamentary election plays out, barring another twist, a Chris will be New Zealand's prime minister afterward. Labour's chief rival, the New Zealand National Party, is led by Christopher Luxon.

As things stand, the National Party is generally considered the favorite to emerge victorious after the voting is completed. Other, smaller political parties could play a significant role in the election outcome. As well as the formation of the government afterward.