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19th Jan 2018

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expecting her first child


Keeley Ryan

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced she is expecting her first child.

The 37-year-old, who became the country’s youngest prime minister since 1856 last year, and her partner Clarke Gayford will welcome the new arrival in June.

She confirmed the news on Instagram, writing:

“And we thought 2017 was a big year! Clarke and I are really excited that in June our team will expand from two to three, and that we’ll be joining the many parents out there who wear two hats.

“I’ll be Prime Minister AND a mum, and Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay at home dad.

“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.”

She was flooded with support after she made the social media announcement on Friday.

According to the New Zealand Herald, Prime Minister Ardern found out she was pregnant just days before she became the Prime Minister-elect.

A statement obtained by the publication said:

“We’re both really happy. We wanted a family but weren’t sure it would happen for us, which has made this news unexpected but exciting.

“Yesterday I met Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, to share the news and to ask him to take on the role of Acting Prime Minister for six weeks after our baby is born.

“As is the case when I am overseas, Mr Peters will act as Prime Minister, working with my office while staying in touch with me. I fully intend to be contactable and available throughout the six week period when needed.”

She said that she was planning to take a six weeks of leave following the baby’s arrival.

She continued:

“At the end of my leave I will resume all Prime Ministerial duties.

“Clarke and I are privileged to be in the position where Clarke can stay home to be our primary caregiver. Knowing that so many parents juggle the care of their new babies, we consider ourselves to be very lucky.”

The couple learned that they were expecting on October 13, “but as many couples do in the early stages, we kept it to ourselves”.

The statement concluded:

“We consider ourselves lucky for another reason. Clarke and I have always been clear we wanted to be parents but had been told we would need help for that to happen. That’s made this news a fantastic surprise.”