Published: Tue, June 26, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Makes History By Taking Maternity Leave

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Makes History By Taking Maternity Leave

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

The name is derived from the Irish name Niamh, which means bright, radiant and snow, Arden told reporters at Auckland Hospital.

At the same press conference, the 37-year-old announced the baby would be called Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, or Neve Gayford for short.

"We'll be joining the many parents out there who wear two hats", Ardern wrote on Instagram when she announced her pregnancy.

Ardern answered questions with a broad smile while rocking Neve back and forth as she slept. "It was our way of reflecting the amount of love this baby's been shown before she even arrived".

"We're not placing any great expectations on this baby - except happiness and love", she said.

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. It's such a rare event, in fact, that the last time anyone can remember it happening anywhere was in 1990, when Pakistan's then PM Benazir Bhutto popped out a baby.

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

Laurell Ardern said she'd had people come up to her saying that her daughter had been an inspiration, including one woman who anxious a job was too hard for her, but then thought 'Well, if Jacinda can do it, I will do it'.

Ms Ardern left Auckland City Hospital this morning with partner Clarke Gayford by her side.

They say everyone is in "good spirits" and that baby is "very cute". "Sleep deprived, but super well", she said. "And just figure things out as we go".

Her deputy Winston Peters is now acting prime minister, although Ardern will continue to be consulted on significant issues.

Addressing media Sunday, Ardern acknowledged the situation was viewed as somewhat novel but that she hoped one day it would be generally accepted that men and women could make such choices.

"But it's equally special to us. those people who took time to send a little note, or a blanket, or a set of booties".

"To me, in those moments, we just saw a reflection of how open and generous New Zealanders are".

"They congratulated the PM and Clarke and said they were looking forward to seeing them in the fall", the spokesperson said.

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