Congratulatory and Valedictory Letters from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

25 January 2023

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written a congratulatory letter to Prime Minister of New Zealand Chris Hipkins and a valedictory letter to former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Prime Minister Hipkins was sworn in on 25 January 2023. The text of the letters is appended.


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25 JANUARY 2023



Congratulatory Letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Prime Minister of New Zealand Chris Hipkins


25 January 2023


Dear Prime Minister Hipkins,


On behalf of the Government of Singapore, I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as the Prime Minister of New Zealand.


Singapore and New Zealand share a deep and longstanding friendship. As small and open economies, we share similar views on many issues, such as the importance of free trade and international law. We have multifaceted cooperation across the five pillars of the Enhanced Partnership, in areas such as trade, defence, science and technology, people-to-people exchanges and climate change. Our two countries also supported each other strongly during the COVID-19 pandemic, including ensuring that supply chains remain connected and regularly exchanging notes on our experiences.


I look forward to working with you to strengthen our excellent bilateral relations, and wish you and your government every success.



Yours sincerely,


Lee Hsien Loong


The Right Honourable Chris Hipkins

Prime Minister

New Zealand



Valedictory Letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern


25 January 2023


Dear Jacinda,


Please accept my best wishes as you step down as Prime Minister of New Zealand.


You have steered New Zealand through unprecedented and challenging times. You led your country and your people with kindness, compassion and strength through multiple crises, including the Christchurch attacks, White Island eruption and the COVID-19 pandemic. You have also been an inspiration especially to women and girls, not just in New Zealand, but across the world. You have demonstrated that empathy and courage can go hand-in-hand in political leadership.


Relations between our countries have strengthened during your term as PM. We launched the Singapore-New Zealand Enhanced Partnership in May 2019 during your first Official Visit to Singapore. We later expanded it to include cooperation in climate change and green economy during your second Official Visit to Singapore in April 2022. I have always enjoyed our conversations, such as when we exchanged notes on how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as on regional and international issues.


I was therefore sorry to learn that you had decided to step down, though I fully understand your reasons for doing so. Like many, I was moved watching your personal and sincere statement announcing your decision. I hope that after you have handed over your duties, you will be able to recharge your tank and continue contributing to public life in other ways.


You have been a very good friend of Singapore. Please know that you and your family are always welcome in Singapore. I wish you, Clarke and Neve all the best.



Yours sincerely,


Lee Hsien Loong


The Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand

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