By Gurbir Singh:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, have today announced that they are expecting their first child in June.
“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”.
Arden made the announcement on her Instagram feed this morning, and was flooded with congratulatory messages from political leaders and others from all walks of life.
37-year-old PM Ardern’s announcement makes her one of the only political head of government in recent times to be pregnant while in office.
This would also be the first for the western world though the other head of state to give birth was Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto who had her second baby in 1990 while she was prime minister.
In a statement to the media this morning, the PM revealed that “Yesterday I met with Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, to share the news and to ask him to take on the role of Acting Prime Minister for a period of 6 weeks after our baby is born… At the end of my leave I will resume all Prime Ministerial duties”.
According to PM, her partner, Clarke would be a “stay at home” dad.
“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”, she added.
“From a personal perspective, I am so looking forward to my new role as a parent. But I am equally focused on my job and responsibilities as Prime Minister”.
Prime Minister has been talking about babies since before the election, speaking openly in the past about wanting children and a family.
With their baby due in June, it is an indication she became pregnant during NZ’s election campaign in September.
Ardern discovered she was pregnant just six days before she became Prime Minister-elect. “We first knew of my pregnancy on the 13th of October, but as many couples do in the early stages, we kept it to ourselves”.
NZ’s National Party leader and former PM, Bill English tweeted “Congratulations to @jacindaardern and @NZClarke. Mary and I wish them all the best for their impending arrival.”
Green Party co-leader James Shaw said today’s announcement was significant to women everywhere.
“That a woman can be the Prime Minister of New Zealand and choose to have a family while in office says a lot about the kind of country we are and that we can be – modern, progressive, inclusive, and equal.”
Originally published by this journalist in Jan 2018 in PressReader.com