Sunday, 18 November, 2018


Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern hopes for new world for daughter Neve

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford
Bennie Garza | 24 June, 2018, 20:41

Ms Ardern spoke briefly to reporters today before heading home, revealing her and her partner Clarke Gayford had named their daughter Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford.

The name Neve meant "bright" or "radiant", Ardern explained.

The couple also added the name "Te Aroha" which was their way of "reflecting the amount of love" Neve had been shown before she arrived and "all of the names we were gifted along the way (by various iwi or Maori people)".

Little Neve was born on Thursday afternoon New Zealand time, weighing 7.3lb, but the prime minister was kept in hospital for three days mainly due to security arrangements.

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

Ardern became New Zealand's youngest prime minister when she took office through a coalition deal a year ago after an inconclusive election, and now became the first woman in the country's history to give birth while in office.

Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford.

Ms Ardern said "the moment happened so quickly".

Ardern said the family was doing well - but, as is common with new parents the world over, were sleep-deprived.

Ardern said she "feels very lucky" and thanked everyone for their best wishes after the birth, as she updated her social media accounts from the comfort of her hospital bed.

"Someone actually sent me a picture of their mother-in-law, who I have never met, sitting in front of the television on their La-Z-Boy knitting us a hat".

The New Zealand leader said she was blown away by well-wishes locally and internationally, including from Britain´s Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. "That is certainly not something you expect", she said.

Ms Ardern said she and her partner had opted for the alternative spelling Neve rather than the traditional Niamh, to avoid confusion.

The new mother chose not to comment on what the family were choosing to do with the placenta, but acknowledge the incredible gesture from Ngāpuhi to bury it at Waitangi.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has stepped in as acting PM and will run the country for the next six weeks while Ardern takes maternity leave, according to an agreement they published earlier.

The baby is the first child for Ardern (37) and Gayford (40).

Then, Gayford will take care of the baby and will travel with Ardern between their Auckland home and the capital, Wellington, as well as on worldwide engagements.

She said she hoped in time those sorts of choices would be more accepted.

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