Sunday, 22 July, 2018

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern Gives Birth to a Baby Girl

New Zealand's Prime Minister arrives at hospital to give birth. She's the first pregnant world leader since 1990 (Updated) NZ Prime Minister enters hospital for birth of first child
Charlie Simmons | 23 June, 2018, 11:54

Early on Thursday morning, Ardern's office announced she and Gayford had headed to Auckland City Hospital to have her baby and that Winston Peters was now Acting Prime Minister.

Ms Ardern gave birth in Auckland Hospital, the country's largest public hospital, with her partner, television presenter Clarke Gayford, at her side.

In a post on her official Instagram account, Ardern said the baby arrived at 4.45 pm local time, weight 3.31 kilograms (7.3 pounds).

But while Ms Ardern has been working to assure the nation, Mr Peters has been causing a stir.

Ardern thanked everyone for their kindness and said they were all doing really well.

Benazir Bhutto gave birth while serving as Pakistan's prime minister in 1990, in a dramatically different political climate in which her opponents used her pregnancy as a reason to demand her dismissal.

Ardern turned around support for Labour after being elected leader less than eight weeks before the Sept 23 election, stirring up what media dubbed "Jacinda-mania" with her appeal to younger voters and her promises to tackle social issues.

At the same time, Ardern does not plan to entirely shirk her duties while on leave.

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"The prime minister having a baby while in office is a symbolically significant moment for our country, women in particular, and sends an important message that caring for children is one of the most important jobs in the world", said Davidson.

Mr Peters said: "It's a happy day and on behalf of the coalition government we wish her and Clarke all the very best", Peters said in an emailed statement.

The intervening months have seen a frenzy of excitement from New Zealanders, many of whom took to the web on Thursday to express their happiness.

Ardern's office confirmed just after 6 a.m. she'd arrived at the hospital with partner Clarke Gayford.

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 plans to take six weeks off work.

"Congratulations to Prime Minister @jacindaardern on the wonderful news", she wrote.

"I do not want to create a false impression that all women should be super-human or super-women", she said recently.

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