Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Baby steps to equality: Cheers to New Zealand PM's mommyhood

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford with their newborn baby girl SUPPLIED Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford with their newborn baby girl
Jay Anderson | 26 June, 2018, 18:57

Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford made her way down the Auckland Hospital corridor in her mother Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's arms, flanked by her exhausted but proud-looking father, Clarke Gayford.

The PM eventually said it was "pretty special" holding baby Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford for the first time.

Ardern is admirable because she has reached the pinnacle of leadership, without sacrificing personal joys like marriage and parenthood. "We're all doing really well thanks to the wonderful team at Auckland City Hospital", she said in her post.

Although she will become the first elected world leader to take maternity leave - and only the second to have a child while in office - Ms Ardern has played down the significant global attention she's received as a role model.

Gayford said the birth was "all a bit of a blur. for both of us".

The couple also added the name "Te Aroha" which was their way of "reflecting the amount of love" Neve had been shown before she arrived and "all of the names we were gifted along the way (by various iwi or Maori people)". "Sleep deprived, but super well", she said.

Gayford said he would never forget the look on Ardern's face when she held their baby.




Ardern explained Te Aroha was a rural town in the Waikato region of New Zealand where her family is from.

Ardern, 37, became New Zealand's youngest prime minister when she took office through a coalition deal a year ago after an inconclusive election.

"We chose Neve because we just liked it, and when we met her we thought she looked like she suited the name".

Ardern delivered her 3.31 kg (7.3 lb) daughter in the country's largest public hospital on Thursday afternoon with her partner, television presenter Clarke Gayford, at her side. During her absence, Deputy Prime Minster Winston Peters will cover the day-to-day government operations.

"Hopefully these things, in these moments, for lack of a better word are novelty, but perhaps one day they won't be", she said of giving birth in office as prime minister.

"She is so very grateful for the gift and has made a decision to share it with all other mothers on the tenth floor of the maternity ward", an office spokesperson says.

"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 is just based on what they want and it makes them happy".

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