New Zealand PM Ardern Introduces Newborn Baby Girl to World

Published June 25th, 2018 - 01:00 GMT
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, 37, introduces her newborn baby girl Neve to the world. (Jacinda Ardern Instagram)
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, 37, introduces her newborn baby girl Neve to the world. (Jacinda Ardern Instagram)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has officially introduced her newborn daughter to the world.

Ms Arden, 37, and her partner Clarke Gayford introduced baby Neve Te Aroha Ardern-Gayford to the media after her birth on Thursday afternoon.

Arden’s quirky choice of name, which is traditionally spelt Niamh, has Irish roots and is said to mean ‘bright and radiant’. The newborn has been dubbed the 'prime miniature'.

She has since thanked hospital staff for her care, and already noted the sleep deprivation has kicked in. 

A glowing Arden introduced her daughter at a press release on Sunday morning, beginning by telling the attendees they must have 'a calming effect'.

'She's finally going to sleep,' she laughed, whilst gently rocking little Neve.  

'Over the next six weeks, we will do what every parent does and learn the little nuances of the way Neve wants to work,' Ms Arden told a handful of reporters shortly after leaving the hospital.

While she said she was too caught up in the fleeting moment to remember exactly what went through her mind when she held Neve for the first time, Gayford said he'd take one special memory home with him.  

'I won't forget the look on Jacinda's face when she finally held the baby,' he said.

'It was all a bit of a blur for the both of us but she had obviously been through so much and she just looked so happy.'

The couple went on to thank every single person who has congratulated, offered support, or provided gifts for them on this journey. 

'Its mind blowing receiving messages from the Queen but it's equally important to us as everyone else who has taken the time to send us a note or a blanket.' 

'Every knitted piece we have has been made by someone who has taken the time to sit down and knit it for us.'

'It's absolutely beautiful,' she added. 

The family have decided to 'pay it forward' with all the gifts they have received. 

'As soon as we're done with it we'll be sure to pass it all on to another family... another baby.'

Ms Arden was the first world leader to have a baby in office in 30 years - and only the second ever.

Ms Ardern, 37, and her partner Clarke Gayford announced the birth of their first child, weighing 7lb 3oz, on Instagram.

She follows in the footsteps of the late Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who in 1990 became the only democratically-elected female world leader in recorded history to give birth while in power. 

'Welcome to our village wee one,' Ms Ardern wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of her and Mr Gayford with their new arrival.

'Feeling very lucky to have a healthy baby girl that arrived at 4.45pm weighing 3.31kg (7.3lb) Thank you so much for your best wishes and your kindness. We're all doing really well thanks to the wonderful team at Auckland City Hospital.'

Ms Ardern's office said mother and child are doing well.

'I'm sure we're going through all of the emotions new parents go through, but at the same time feeling so grateful for all the kindness and best wishes from so many people,' Ms Arden said in a statement. 

Ms Ardern was due on June 17.

The 37-year-old worked right up until she went into labour on Thursday morning.

The New Zealand Government will be led by Winston Peters, 73, for the next six weeks.

Ms Ardern assured she would still be on call, and the government would be business as usual. 

For more than a month, Ms Arden 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.

'The thing to keep in mind is: I'm not dead,' she told TVNZ.

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

He lodged a privacy breach lawsuit against a government department the day Ms Ardern left Wellington, recently scuttled a major piece of Labour policy and has attacked the leadership of the country's largest company.

During Ms Ardern's maternity leave, Mr Peters - the leader of the minority NZ First Party which forms part of New Zealand's coalition government - will have powers similar to those he would have if the prime minister was overseas.

He will run the day-to-day operations in Wellington and will consult with Ms Ardern on 'significant political, strategic or public interest, or national security' matters.

But he'll still be limited by the decisions of the Labour Party-dominated cabinet. 

Recent Newshub-Reid research polling found 39 per cent think Mr Peters will do a good job, the rest were either unsure or pessimistic.

Often described as a populist, Mr Peters is the most experienced hand and one of the most iconic figures in the country's political landscape - but he is also polarising and has an often combative relationship with the media.

He's formed coalition governments with both the centre-left and centre-right (playing the role of 'kingmaker' to leverage concessions out of the major parties), and since entering parliament in 1979 has held numerous senior cabinet posts, including deputy PM in the 1990s .

But while he and Ms Ardern's Labour Party may not have seen eye-to-eye on some issues recently, they've been talking up the trust between them.

'I've almost found it surprising people have questioned that it will be anything other than business as usual for us,' Ms Ardern said.

She became a mother just months after she took the country's top job in October.

Ms Ardern announced she was pregnant in a Facebook post in January this year.

'I'll be Prime Minister AND a mum, and Clarke will be 'first man of fishing' and stay-at-home dad,' she said at the time.

'I think it's fair to say that this will be a wee one that a village will raise but we couldn't be more excited.'

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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