Ardern in­tro­duces baby Neve to NZ

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

‘‘It’s also the place where all my fam­ily are from and I grew up un­der that moun­tain,’’ Ardern said. She joked she and Gay­ford had ‘‘gone for sim­plic­ity’’ with the spell­ing of ‘‘Neve’’, ‘‘be­cause Clarke with an ‘e’ has caused all sorts of prob­lems, and Jacinda with a ‘d’.’’

Ardern said the fam­ily was do­ing well – ‘‘sleep-de­prived, but su­per well’’.

She thanked staff at the hospi­tal for their care, as well as all the New Zealan­ders who had sent mes­sages of sup­port and hand­made gifts.

‘‘Those mo­ments have mat­tered as much to us as any of those lovely mes­sages of sup­port from around the world.’’

Gay­ford said he would never for­get the look on Ardern’s face when she held their daugh­ter for the first time. ‘‘It was all a bit of a blur for the both of us ... she looked ab­so­lutely just stunned and very, very happy.’’

Ardern is tak­ing six weeks of ma­ter­nity leave be­fore re­turn­ing to Par­lia­ment, when Gay­ford will care for the baby full­time.

Ear­lier, for­mer prime min­is­ter He­len Clark said the birth was ‘‘very sig­nif­i­cant, be­cause of the mes­sage it’s send­ing about the modern fam­ily’’.

Moth­ers could have top ca­reers, while fa­thers could be stay-at-home dads, Clark said.

‘‘For younger men and women, [Ardern and Gay­ford] are very, very pow­er­ful role mod­els.’’

The cou­ple an­nounced their baby’s ar­rival on Instagram on Thurs­day evening.

‘‘Wel­come to our vil­lage wee one,’’ Ardern wrote.

Af­ter a sleepless first night at the hospi­tal, her press sec­re­tary an­nounced she would stay on the ma­ter­nity ward for another night. On Satur­day, it was an­nounced she would re­main there for a third night due to the se­cu­rity re­quire­ments in­volved in trans­fer­ring to nearby Birth­care.

Ardern’s mother, Lau­rell Ardern, re­ported on Satur­day evening the baby girl had dark hair and dark eyes.

Neve looked more like her fa­ther than her mother, the proud grand­mother said.

‘‘I think there might be a bit of Clarke . . . she doesn’t look like Jacinda as a baby, be­cause she’s more tiny. [Jacinda] didn’t look tired at all. She looked good.’’

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