Published: Sun, June 24, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

New Zealand PM Ardern names newborn daughter Neve, leaves hospital

New Zealand PM Ardern names newborn daughter Neve, leaves hospital

"We're not placing any great expectations on this baby - except happiness and love", she said.

"Te Aroha is our way of reflecting the amount of love this baby has been shown even before she's also the place where all my family are from and I grew up under that mountain", she said of the Waikato landmark.

She added: "I hope for little girls and boys that there's a future where they can make choices about how they raise their family and what kind of career they have that are based on what they want and what makes them happy".

The name "Neve" was chosen for their daughter because it means "bright and radiant".

The couple's first child was born on Thursday at 4.45pm, weighing in at 3.31 kgs.

She is now on six weeks of maternity leave, with her deputy Winston Peters acting as Prime Minister in her absence.

She told Sky News: "We had been told that it was unlikely that we would be able to have a family without help".

Ardern said that while she is on leave, she would be finding her way as a new parent.

Ardern reflected on the first time she got to hold her newborn daughter, saying it happened to quickly but was "pretty special".

As we head home we just wanted to say thanks, from the bottom of our hearts.

Usually, new mums leave hospital soon after delivering and go to Birthcare in Parnell to recover.

Ardern was driven to hospital by Gayford before 6am on Thursday.

Ardern acknowledged that giving birth while being a Prime Minister was a very rare occurrence globally, and that Gayford acting as stay-at-home father was also uncommon. Nearly 11 hours later, the little girl was born, weighing 3.31kg (7.3lb).

At the time, she said she'd found out about the pregnancy just one week before her Labour Party formed government and that it came as a surprise to her, and her partner, as they believed they would not be able to conceive naturally.

Ardern has had little sleep over the past few days, with the baby also described as being "very alert and one hungry baby".

Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford.

Gayford is a spear fisher and diver with his own television show.

The 37-year-old, who is only the second elected world leader to give birth while in office, said her partner was "being as much of a role model as I am".

After the birth Ardern thanked everyone for their best wishes and kindness and said they were all doing really well thanks to the wonderful team at Auckland City Hospital.

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