Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern gives birth to baby girl

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern gives birth to baby girl

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern has become the first world leader in almost 30 years to have a baby while in office.

Ms Ardern shared a photo of her and partner Clarke Gayford with their daughter on Instagram on Thursday afternoon.

"Welcome to our village wee one", she wrote, next to a picture of her and partner Clarke Gayford cuddling the newborn.

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.

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Her office said there would be no further comment until the birth of their baby is announced.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has been made Acting Prime Minister and will run the country for the next six weeks while Ms Ardern takes maternity leave.

Ms Ardern was driven to hospital by her partner Clark Gayford and arrived at 5.50am this morning. Mr Peters carried out some of the prime minister's Wellington-based duties this week, chairing Cabinet and hosted Ms Ardern's weekly post-cabinet media conference. On Thursday, many major media outlets set up livefeeds on their websites with rolling coverage and local journalists camped at the hospital.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford arrive at Buckingham Palace during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, April 2018.

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While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were present in the celebration, Prince William and Kate Middleton didn't attend the event. The date coincidently falls a week after Prince George finishes his school year and Princess Charlotte breaks for the summer.

Co-leader James Shaw added: "This is an exciting time for Jacinda and Clarke and an historic moment for our country".

Benazir Bhutto had her second child in 1990 when she was prime minister of Pakistan.

Before she was elected previous year, Ms Ardern made headlines after criticising a radio show host for suggesting employers had a right to know if their female employees planned to have children, saying such questions, while appropriate for her in her position, were "totally unacceptable" for other women in a modern society.

Ardern is normally based in Wellington but relocated to be closer to Auckland in preparation for the birth. She has not said whether she's expecting a boy or a girl.

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