History-making New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern brings baby to United Nations assembly

Elias Hubbard
September 25, 2018

"It was a very practical decision [to take her in to the General Assembly], Neve is actually nearby me most of the time in New Zealand, she just not always caught [on camera] but here when she's awake we try and keep her with me, so obviously that was the occasion".

New Zealand's prime minister, who shot to global fame for giving birth while in office, turned heads Monday by bringing her three-month-old daughter into the United Nations assembly hall.

Monday (New York time) was the first United Nations visit for New Zealand's first baby Neve Te Aroha Gayford.

While her mother was speaking about what Mandela meant to New Zealand, three-month old Neve watched on, held by father Clarke Gayford, 40, who is the baby's full-time caregiver.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made her debut speech at the United Nations in NY - and in another first for the organisation she brought her baby along too.

Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a lovely baby girl over the weekend.

During a hospital press conference in June, Ardern spoke about how she chose the unique name for her new daughter.

"I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation inside United Nations yesterday who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change", Gayford tweeted yesterday.

However, Ardern said Gayford's tickets to NY and expenses would be paid for out of her own pocket, because there were few official spousal engagements Gayford would be required to attend, and most of his time would be taken up caring for Neve. "Great yarn for her 21st", he wrote. Earlier on Monday, she spoke at the launch of the annual "Climate Week" event.

Dad on duty: Clarke Gayford, partner of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, carries their daughter Neve.

Ardern is her country's youngest premier and the first to take maternity leave while in office.

Ardern outlined the exceptional circumstances that make it possible for her to raise Neve while continuing as prime minister, which she has frequently stated she hopes will one day be the norm for all women wanting to balance a career and parenting.

The 38-year-old Ardern has made global headlines since coming to power last October when she became only the second elected leader to give birth while in office, after Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto in 1990.

"Unless there is a culture that accepts that mothers and children are part of our workplaces, then we won't change anything".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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