New Zealand PM Ardern names newborn daughter Neve, leaves hospital

Elias Hubbard
June 24, 2018

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford present their new baby daughter, Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, at Auckland City Hospital.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern carries her newborn baby Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford as she walks out of the Auckland Hospital in New Zealand, June 24, 2018.

When we met her, we thought she looked like she suited the name.

The name also means "snow", which Ms Ardern said seemed like a "good combination" for Matariki, the Maori New Year, and the winter solstice, which was when her daughter born.

Aroha in Maori means love and Te Aroha is also the name of a mountain near where Ms Ardern's family come from.

Ms Ardern said the couple had struggled for months to decide on a name but had made a decision to wait until their baby was born to see which one suited her.

She and Mr Gayford had opted to spell the name Neve - as opposed to Niamh for example - for simplicity, with Ms Ardern joking about the unusual spellings of Clarke and Jacinda.

She told media she was "sleep-deprived but doing well" and thanked the midwives, nurses, doctors, security and communications staff at Auckland hospital before addressing the nation.

Tweeting her congratulations to Ardern and Gayford earlier in the week, former NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark said their parenting arrangements were gender-equality in action.

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

Adern, glowing with motherhood, said it was a pleasure to finally introduce their little one to New Zealand and shared the chosen name for the first time since the birth.

"I think this is why it's caught the imagination, in New Zealand, and globally".

In the post sharing the announcement of her daughter's birth, Ms Ardern wrote: "Welcome to our village wee one". Can you remember leaving hospital after giving birth?

"We'll do what every other parent does and learn the little nuances of the way that Neve wants to work", she said.

She also received "mind-blowing" messages from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Queen. She will take six weeks of parental leave before returning to work, at which point Mr Gayford, the host of a television show about fishing, will become a stay-at-home parent.

After fronting the media, the Prime Minister then went back to her hospital room where she then addressed the public via a live video on her Facebook page.

Ardern, 37, became New Zealand's youngest prime minister when she took office through a coalition deal previous year after an inconclusive election.

"She doesn't look like Jacinda as a baby because she's more tiny, more petite", Ardern's mother Laurell Ardern said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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