New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern pregnant with first child

Pregnancy came as a ‘complete surprise’ to new PM and her partner, Clarke Gayford

Jacinda Ardern
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern will be New Zealand’s youngest ever female PM
(Image credit: Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images)

Jacinda Ardern has announced that she is expecting her first child, four months after being sworn in as prime minister of New Zealand.

Ardern, 37, shared the news in a Facebook post, adding that her partner, TV fishing expert Clarke Gayford, would be a stay-at-home dad while she continued to head the government.

“We’ll be joining the many parents out there who wear two hats,” she wrote. “I’ll be Prime Minister AND a mum, and Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay at home dad.”

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At a press conference outside the couple’s home in Auckland, Ardern revealed that her pregnancy had been confirmed six days before the October election, and that she had formed her coalition government while secretly suffering from morning sickness.

“I had to announce eventually. There's only so long you can pretend you've just been eating too many Christmas pies,” she said.

The Labour leader said she intends to remain at her post "right up until we're ready to go".

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will head the government while she takes six weeks of maternity leave following the birth, due in June. Ardern then plans to return to work full-time, while Gayford takes over day-to-day parenting duties.

“I'm under no illusion, it will be tough,” she said. “But together we're ready and I have great support around me.”

Speaking to, Ardern said that she and Gayford had been told that they would struggle to conceive naturally and that the pregnancy came as a “complete surprise”.

“I thought, 'Gosh, what are people going to say?' But we're happy,” she said.

“We’re going to make this work and New Zealand is going to help us raise our first child,” she said.

Ardern will be the second woman in modern political history to give birth at the head of a national government. Benazir Bhutto became the first in 1990, when she gave birth to her second child, Bakhtawar, while serving as prime minister of Pakistan.

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