New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has given birth to her first child

Pauline Gross
June 21, 2018

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed her first child, a baby girl.

She arrived at Auckland City Hospital just before 6 a.m. local time (18.00 UTC) with her partner Clarke Gayford by her side.

Ardern, 37, became New Zealand's youngest Prime Minister when she took office through a coalition deal past year after an inconclusive election, and now becomes the first woman in the country's history to give birth while in office.

The prime minister discovered she was pregnant during coalition negotiations in October, but waited until January 19 to share the news with the country.

The position of acting Prime Minister falls to current Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and will continue to remain that way while Ardern takes her planned 6-week maternity leave.

Peters had already taken over some of Ardern's duties in recent days, including running Cabinet meetings in the capital, Wellington.

At the conference, Ardern was asked how choosing a baby name was going and she responded "terribly" before asking the gathered media for suggestions.

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She was the first pregnant world leader in almost 30 years.

A view of Auckland City Hospital in New Zealand, where New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was admitted into early on Thursday for the birth of her first child, June 21, 2018.

They were inundated with good wishes from the public, current and former politicians and attracted comment from media around the world.

Ms Ardern's due date was 17 June.

She said she hoped to be "sharing the good news" in an announcement but also to have some quiet time to enjoy as a family.

The much-anticipated arrival has gone global, as worldwide media outlets keep track of what is unfolding at Auckland Hospital. She has not said whether she's expecting a boy or a girl.

Ardern is normally based in Wellington but relocated to be closer to Auckland in preparation for the birth.

Other reports by GizPress

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