New Zealand prime minister gives birth to baby girl

Leroy Wright
June 21, 2018

Ardern's pregnancy has been global news since it was first announced on 19 January, shortly after she won office, with the Labour Party leader vowing to be "Prime Minister and a mum".

However, she did run into some opposition from New Zealand conservatives suggesting she should have stepped aside when she found out she was pregnant.

'I think it's fair to say that this will be a wee one that a village will raise but we couldn't be more excited'.

Her office said it would announced later when the family leave the hospital.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford have welcomed their first baby.

She plans to take six weeks off work, during which time Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will cover for her.

Now it is breaking new ground with a prime minister giving birth and her partner becoming a stay-at-home father.

Twitter user @zaichishka, who describes herself as a Welsh-Kiwi, wrote: "4.693 million New Zealanders (give or take) just became aunts and uncles".

The acting prime minister extended "his very best wishes" to the new family.

"For New Zealand, these events and the way our country has greeted them will be seen as inspirational by all who advocate for gender equality and women's empowerment", Clark wrote. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto did so in 1990.

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Realistically, Ms Ardern will be hoping for a smooth six weeks while she's away, and Mr Peters will not want to be remembered for a vehicle crash of a time. Ardern plans to take a six-week leave before returning to work.

Mr Turnbull also said he looked forward to introducing her daughter to his grandchildren.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the first prime minister to give birth while still in office since Benazir Bhutto did it nearly 30 years ago.

Mr Gayford will take care of the baby and will travel with Ms Ardern between their Auckland home and the capital, Wellington, as well on global engagements.

Ardern had played down the chances of any disruption arising from her absence, saying she and Peters would be in regular contact.

"It's one of those things where Clarke is absolutely convinced it will come to us as soon as it arrives", Ardern told a New Zealand radio station last month.

Of course he is still the foreign minister and if he is out of the country then the prime minister role passes to Labour Party deputy, Kelvin Davis.

They haven't yet revealed the baby's name.

Yesterday Clarke Gayford tweeted a photo of the prime minister still working at home.

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