Third night in hospital for PM and daughter

Glen Norman
June 26, 2018

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford announced their daughter's arrival on Instagram.

Emerging from Auckland Hospital with their sleeping baby Sunday morning local time (Saturday evening ET), Ardern and Gayford told waiting media they had named her Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford.

On Friday Ms Ardern became the New Zealand's first female leader to give birth while in power.

"'Te Aroha' was our way of reflecting the amount of love this baby has been shown even before she arrived", Ardern said.

Ardern appeared before dozens of reporters and a flurry of camera flashes at Auckland City Hospital in her first appearance since giving birth, thanking the public for their support as her three-day-old daughter slept in her arms.

She is only the second elected world leader to give birth while in office and the very first to take maternity leave while in office.

"We really just wanted to say thank you and that we're all doing really well".

When Deswal discovered she had the same due date as Ardern - June 17 - she realised there would be a chance the two would cross paths in hospital.

She said Neve meant bright, radiant and snow.

Ardern, 37, became New Zealand's youngest prime minister when she took office through a coalition deal past year after an inconclusive election.

"I won't forget the look on Jacinda's face when she finally held the baby", Gayford said.

"Te Aroha", the name of a rural town on New Zealand's North Island, was chosen to reflect Ms Ardern's family history.

"We chose Neve because we just liked it, and when we met her she just looked like she suited the name", she said. During her absence, Deputy Prime Minster Winston Peters will cover the day-to-day government operations.

"Then when we were checking out of the hospital there were quite a few security guards sort of hovering around and our midwife whispered to us, "I think Jacinda is going to be here", but it wasn't confirmed at the time, no one was saying anything", Arun said.

She will take six weeks of leave before returning to work.

It's the couple's first child together, and comes eight months after the 37 year old was sworn in as Prime Minister.

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

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