Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Jacinda Ardern welcomes baby girl

Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister of New Zealand receives Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Wellington New Zealand. 3 May 2018. WAM Jacinda Ardern welcomes baby girl
Gerardo Duncan | 23 June, 2018, 11:58

In this photo released by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Instagram, Thursday, June 21, 2018, Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford pose with their newborn daughter at the Auckland City Hospital, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Auckland, New Zealand.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will now serve as Acting Prime Minister in New Zealand for the next six weeks while she is on maternity leave.

Announcing the pregnancy, Ms Ardern said she would be "PM and a mum", while Mr Gayford, a television presenter for a fishing show, will be "first man of fishing" and become a stay at home dad.

The late Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was the last elected leader to give birth when she had daughter Bakhtawar in 1990.

The baby girl, whose name has not been revealed, arrived at 4:45 p.m. local time, weighing 7.3 pounds.

It was the first time in the country's history that a prime minister was pregnant while in office. She has not said whether she's expecting a boy or a girl.

Ardern has fielded several questions about whether she wanted children, but has told media outlets that she should not have to respond to such an inquiry.

For more than a month, the popular 37-year-old prime minster has talked down the significance of her leave, saying she'll still be receiving briefings and be available for major decisions or to discipline ministers if necessary.

In contrast, Bhutto, fearing she was in danger of being overthrown, travelled incognito to a Karachi hospital, underwent a Caesarean section, then returned to work. In aninterview earlier this year with Radio New Zealand, Ardern said, "I am not the first woman to multitask".

"While the couple are happy to share with the public some moments with their new baby they ask that media respect the family's privacy in the weeks set aside to be together after the birth, and during private family moments", a statement from the prime minister's office said. One Twitter user joked on Thursday, "If it's a boy I'm going with Winston Michael Joseph Peter Norman David David David Phillip Andrew Gayford Ardern".

Former New Zealand prime minister and senior United Nations official Helen Clark said Ms Ardern continued to inspire women.

Prior to her, Queen Elizabeth II gave birth to Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964 after her ascension to the throne in 1952.

"She's taken it in her stride, New Zealanders have taken it in their stride. all round I think we're showing huge maturity as a country with this".

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