Another day in (the) office
For Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, having a baby while in office was nothing out of the ordinary. When she announced her pregnancy in January of 2018, she was surprised at the reaction. “I’m just pregnant, not incapacitated,” she told the New Zealand news media.
In August, she returned to work after six weeks of maternity leave. Although she is not the first national leader to give birth while in office — that was Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan in 1990 — Ardern is the first elected world leader to take maternity leave.
The prime minister and her partner, Clarke Gayford, named their baby daughter Neve Te Aroha. Te aroha is a Maori word meaning “love” and is the name of a mountain near where Ardern grew up.
Ardern says she and Gayford want Neve to grow up speaking both English and Maori. Ardern’s Labour government has announced plans to have the Maori language taught in all New Zealand schools by 2025.
Back to work: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with baby Neve