New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern gives birth to baby girl

Hugh Fox
June 23, 2018

Ms Ardern took office as New Zealand's third female prime minister a year ago and said in January that she was expecting a baby with Mr Gayford, a television fishing show presenter.

Ardern is scheduled to take six weeks of parental leave before assuming the office, after which her partner Clarke Gayford, a television presenter will become a stay-at-home parent.

She wrote that she was feeling very lucky to have a given birth to a healthy girl, and that their daughter arrived at 4.45pm weighing 7.3lb.

Admitted to the hospital earlier in the day, Ardern's expected due date had been June 17.

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She is thanking the nation for best wishes and kindness - and says she is doing well thanks to the team at Auckland City Hospital.

It was all a far cry from 1990, when Bhutto, the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim-majority nation, told nearly no-one she was pregnant until Bakhtawar was born on January 25.

Ardern is the first world leader to give birth since 1990, the BBC reports. "I've sent her a message already ... really thrilled", Mr Turnbull said.

"I am not the first woman to multitask".

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In this May 22, 2018 photo, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, addresses Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand.

Ardern and Gayford, who hosts a television fishing show, had known the sex of the baby for several months but chose to keep it secret from the public.

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. "We wanted a family but weren't sure it would happen for us, which has made this news unexpected but exciting", she said in a statement at the time. "I am not the first woman to multitask". Winston Peters will serve as acting prime minister in the interim.

Ardern became the leader of New Zealand's Labour Party in September and was elected prime minister a few weeks later.

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"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.

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