Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern hopes for new world for daughter Neve

Leroy Wright
June 24, 2018

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has unveiled her newborn daughter to the world and revealed her name.

The "Ardern" would serve as another middle name, meaning the baby is known as "Neve Gayford", she added.

Te Aroha - a rural town in the Waikato region of Zew Zealand - was where Ardern's family was from, she explained.

Ms Ardern said Neve means "bright" and "radiant" as well as "snow", which was fitting because the baby was born on the Southern Hemisphere's winter solstice.

Aroha means "love" in Maori, while Mt Te Aroha is a 952-metre mountain in the Kaimai Range, on New Zealand's North Island.

"It was our way of reflecting the amount of love this baby's been shown before she even arrived".

Ms Ardern said she and her partner had opted for the alternative spelling Neve rather than the traditional Niamh, to avoid confusion.

Ardern appeared before dozens of reporters and a flurry of camera flashes at Auckland City Hospital in her first appearance since giving birth, thanking the public for their support as her three-day-old daughter slept in her arms.

As we head home we just wanted to say thanks, from the bottom of our hearts.

Ardern is one of the few elected leaders to hold office while pregnant.

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Adern, glowing with motherhood, said it was a pleasure to finally introduce their little one to New Zealand and shared the chosen name for the first time since the birth.

"So I hope for little girls and boys that actually there's a future where they can make choices about how they raise their family and what kind of career they have that are based on what they want and what makes them happy", she said.

Ardern announced Neve's birth on her official Instagram account Thursday, saying the baby arrived at 4.45 pm local time, weighing 3.31 kilograms (7.3 pounds).

"She looked absolutely stunned and just very, very happy".

"I think every new parent would probably reflect that", she said.

Ms Ardern, who described herself as doing well but being "sleep-deprived", plans to take six weeks off work before Mr Gayford takes on the bulk of the parenting duties.

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

Proving that she's not that different from mums everywhere, Ardern had the briefest moment baby brain, accidentally referring to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as the Duke and Duchess of Essex.

She went on to thank everyone at Auckland City Hospital for the "kindness, warmth, and care" they had shown the family throughout their stay.

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