Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this morning that she & partner Clarke Gayford are expecting a baby.
“We’re both really happy – we wanted a family but weren’t sure it would happen for us, in fact, we had been told we would need help. That has made this news unexpected but exciting.”
Ms Ardern said she’d put a programme in place to take a 6-week timeout for the birth, putting Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters in charge of the country: “I have used the last few weeks to get on with making a plan. 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. Just like when I am overseas, Mr Peters will take on all the functions of prime minister, working with my office and staying in touch with me. I fully intend to be contactable & available throughout the 6-week period when I’m needed.
“Mr Peters and I have a great relationship and I know that, with the help of the rest of the team, we will make this work.
“After 6 weeks, I’ll be back on deck. Clarke & 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.
“I am so looking forward to having an extra role this year, but I am also excited about all of the plans we have as a government to make New Zealand an even better place. That includes work on health, housing, education & child wellbeing (just like the priorities in our 100-day plan). I am looking forward to leading that work, and having a slightly expanded family join me on that journey.
“But for now, bring on 2018!”
Ms Ardern, 37, became prime minister on 26 October, heading a government of Labour & NZ First MPs with support from the Greens.
Attribution: PM’s release.