Chris Hipkins
Chris HipkinsREUTERS/Lucy Craymer

New Zealand's ruling Labour Party on Sunday selected Chris Hipkins to replace Jacinda Ardern as its leader and the 41st prime minister of the country, Reuters reported.

Hipkins, 44, was the only nomination for the job and his confirmation in a party meeting on Sunday, known as the Labour caucus, was largely a formality.

His appointment comes several days after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern surprisingly announced that will not seek re-election and plans to step down.

"This is the biggest privilege and biggest responsibility of my life," Hipkins said announcing his appointment. "I am energized and excited by the challenge that lies ahead."

Hipkins named Carmel Sepuloni as deputy prime minister, New Zealand's first deputy prime minister of Pacific origin.

Before Hipkins becomes prime minister, Ardern will tender her resignation to King Charles' representative in New Zealand, Governor General Cindy Kiro. Kiro will appoint Hipkins to the role and he will be sworn in on Wednesday.

Hipkins will hold office until a general election scheduled for October 14.