Jacinda Ardern: New Zealand's prime minister announces she is pregnant

Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin
New Zealand’ prime minister Jacinda Ardern has announced she is pregnant with her first child. Photograph: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

The prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, is pregnant with her first child.

Ardern, who was elected to the top job in late October of 2017, announced she and partner, Clarke Gayford, are expecting their first child in June of this year.

“Clarke and I are really excited that in June our team will expand from two to three, and that we’ll be joining the many parents out there who wear two hats,” Ardern, 37, said in a Facebook post.

“I’ll be prime minister AND a mum, and Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay at home dad. I think it’s fair to say that this will be a wee one that a village will raise, but we couldn’t be more excited.”

The deputy PM, Winston Peters, will serve as acting prime minister to allow Ardern to take six weeks maternity leave after the baby is born, though Ardern said she intended to fully “fully contactable”.

She said at the end of her leave period she intended to resume “all prime ministerial duties”.

Ardern said her pregnancy had been confirmed on 13 October.

The prime minister waited until now to share the news with New Zealanders to ensure the baby was healthy and well.

“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.

“We consider ourselves lucky for another reason. Clarke and I have always been clear we wanted to be parents but had been told we would need help for that to happen. That’s made this news a fantastic surprise.

“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.

“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.

“While 2018 will be the year I become a mum, it will also be a year that the government finishes our 100-day plan, and starts pursuing all of the priorities that will build a better New Zealand. I look forward to leading that work, and having a slightly expanded family join me on that journey.”

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