Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pregnant

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due in June.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is pregnant, due in June, and deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will take over the role for six weeks after the baby is born.

In a press release, Ardern said she met with Peters yesterday to share the news. Ardern said she will be "contactable and available throughout the six week period when needed."

"Mr Peters and I have a great relationship, and I know that together we’ll make this period work," she said. "I will make arrangements for appropriate ministers to act in my other portfolios over the six weeks I am away from Parliament. At the end of my leave I will resume all Prime Ministerial duties."

Ardern first made the announcement this morning on Instagram, posting that her partner Clarke Gayford will be a stay-at-home father. The Prime Minister said she and Gayford had been told they would not be able to conceive without help, which has "made this news a fantastic surprise."

The Prime Minister knew about the pregnancy on Oct. 13, after election day but six days before Peters said he would support a Labour-led government, saying the nation voted for change. 

"As many couples do in the early stages, we kept it to ourselves," she said. "From a personal perspective, I am so looking forward to my new role as a parent. But I am equally focused on my job and responsibilities as Prime Minister." 

(BusinessDesk)


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At the risk of being controversial I'll go out on a limb and say that this should have been disclosed to the public during the election as a matter of full disclosure. No different to an illness or intention to serve part of a term etc. Especially since she became pregnant during the campaign.

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Why?

Should she also disclose every time she used the bathroom or purchased new clothes?

Having a child during her term will have no impact on her ability to leader. Come into the 21st century.

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I wish her the best but no Impact you say.........She will be distracted as all mums are with their children so it will have an impact....tell me if she will be able to keep up the high workload of the prime minister before and after the birth...."Lets do this" will become....let me sleep!!

The country will play second fiddle to her child.....we need our prime minister to put country first...and Peters as stand in will put Winnie first........

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If using the bathroom caused her 2-3 months of pre-bathroom use sickness and she needed 6 weeks off after every time she used the bathroom then, yes, she should disclose that...

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Any parent will tell you that having children is the greatest, most impactful, most stressful and yes, most rewarding thing they've ever done. It isn't, for most of us, a matter of 'pick that one up will you Deirdre' and carry on. Without making any aspersions on the Prime Minister or her pregnancy whatsoever, the fact is that pregnancy and childbirth is a major life event, and running the country is a more stressful and absorbing job than most of us could ever imagine. Therefore, the previous correspondent is absolutely correct to opine that this matter should have been disclosed to the electorate during the campaign.
You may recall Mark Richardson getting the wrath of God dumped on him for having the temerity to ask whether or not Ms Ardern was considering motherhood during an interview during the campaign. She deflected, when it turns out she absolutely was considering it - in fact, she would have been actively trying at that very time.
I very much doubt it would have made any difference to the election result, but full disclosure nonetheless.
(edited)

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utter rubbish....it will impact her every move and thought.

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Anonymous: If you had been capable of reading this short, 6 para, story you would have seen that it says she became aware "on Oct 13, after Election Day". (edited)

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Aware on Oct 13th before forming the govt on Oct 19th, but going hard out to get pregnant during the campaign.

Labour couldn't win the election based on its merits so Jacinda was a show pony to get voter buy in, with an exit strategy already in play during the campaign. Hollywood stuff.

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She was attempting to have a child during the campaign. Her statement today that the pregnancy was "unexpected" is an absolute farce - she had been trying IVF for gods sake!!

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1. She said they didn't try IVF - they were told that they 'would need help' but they got lucky.
2. Are you suggesting that politicians must remain celibate, at least during election campaigns?

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The story said she didn't become aware until after the election although one blog writer tipped this during the campaign.

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Pregnancy is not an illness. All the very best to the parents-to-be.

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No, but pregnancy is almost always preceded and followed by illness; such illness usually rendering somebody incapable of working from time to time. There is a genuine question about how our country will be run of that happens - and we need the answers.

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So do a lot of other medical conditions and we don't ban all politicians with say a heart in case they have a heart attack.

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And should we also have full disclosure from, say, the morbidly obese MP (and there have been a few) who would be medically more likely to become seriously ill (or just take time off sick) during their term? As I stated above, it's sexist and archaic to bring pregnancy into this.

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Jacinda isn't just an MP, she is the Prime Minister - the leader of our country. You're comparing apples with oranges.

And yes, if an MP was morbidly obese they too should make full disclosure. No different to how Trump was basically forced to have a physical by the media. I don't see you crying foul about the injustices of that....

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She is an un-elected Prime Minister and has absoluteley no justification to use any part of her pregnancy to aid that cause.
She could be tipped out as PM any time just as quick as she was appointed ...not elected.
She has neither the experience or the nouce to be Prime minister as we will all find out....that said she has a whole bunch of others around her with no experience or nouce as well and that will show forth anytime.

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I suspect she can spell nous though...

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I'm not aware of any morbidly obese MP having to take time off work because of some obesity-associated illness. Not even the darling of the Left David Lange, who was quite possibly the fattest Prime Minister in NZ history spent any time in the hospital while he inflicted himself upon the country. So let's stick to the facts, eh, when discussing the well-known risks and complications that can crop up during a pregnancy.

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Steve I think you'll find that morbid obesity carries far higher health risks than being pregnant.

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No pregnancy is not an illness, but for some women it can be, and a very serious one at that. And often no-one knows which women are going to have a tough time of it when they first find out that they are expecting. Hopefully, Jacinda's pregnancy will be routine and trouble free like most. But it comes with no guarantee.

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No more risk than Bill English facing prostate cancer if he was PM or a bad case of male menopause
And no more risk to the government than Nick Smith turning into a complete idiot when he was part of the Government or Jenny Shipley exploding when she was a big girl

Bizarre responses to a normal life situation

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Totally agree, still can recall the Mrs. having to risk her life getting our baby born. Ms. Ardern’s six weeks leave and “contactable” during that time seems unbelievably concrete and treating preganancy as a piece of cake! Not sure she has any idea of which is her priority, the motherhood or being a PM. Sadly having to consider what her child would feel growing up knowing her mother left her at six weeks, when the baby simply needs her mother at the most.
Yet, wish our PM a smooth preganancy and healthy baby, and respect her choice at this not easy time.

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I didn't realise that being pregnant was a disability. The people demanding that she should have told the public (and she has always made it clear she wanted a family), would probably not have voted for her anyway and in any event she wasn't pregnant at the date of the election - she only found out in October. No one demanded to know if Bill English was going to add to his brood of children prior to or during an election campaign.

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If a pregnancy does not impact in any way, why has Jacinda campaigned for parents to have 20 weeks paid parental leave?

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So that people have the option of having a parent at home etc. Many couples need two incomes etc. It is also not compulsory if one choose not to take it.

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well said.

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The ongoing attempts to try and equate the impact on men and women of child rearing from conception until weaning is disingenuous to say the least. Men do not experience the physical effects of carrying and birthing a child and do not breast feed. I also read the other day that a child leaves part of its DNA in its Mum as well. I

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Read the article - it says she found out AFTER election day. Also, how is pregnancy the same as an illness? I presume you think women should not have a role in public life #backtothe1950s

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Contrary to your belief, pregnancy is NOT a random act, the stork does bring babies to fortunate couples. You don't get pregnant by accident.

I like Liz Jones article:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11979125

"UK columnist Liz Jones says Ardern's baby news 'betrays voters'"

"..."Fine, if you want to work behind the counter at Boots. But if you want to get to the top of your game? If you want to be a world leader? Surely your country shouldn't have to compete for your attention with a colicky toddler..."

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That baby will be used as every excuse....just saying.

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It all comes down to how important it is to surround yourself with the best team of people. You can walk away from the business and it still ticks along.

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Totally agree

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Sure as long as you apply the same principle to male political campaigners as well. What's good for the goose etc

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This will be used as smokescreen whilst the coalition works hard to get reviled legislation across the line. The world will be fawning over the new baby and the associated photo opportunities whilst taxes rise and all manner of unpleasant legislation is foisted on us.

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Did the conversation go like this. Hey I'm pregnant you can be prime minister whilst I'm on maternity leave......ok done.
So much for New Zealand "first"

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Absolutely disgusted with NZ First and I am willing to bet they will be long gone after the next election Peters and all.
He bull...... his way into parliament and can not deliver on one solitary thing he promised....not withstanding he is the 2nd inline to the throne and a promise of being able to borrow the throne for a while.
We won't be conned again. Edited

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What do you what to do? Get a refund? Enjoy the fact that we have another a couple of firsts here I think. We probably are the only country in the world with a pregnant PM, a first time mum, a pre-married situation, an "enexpected" expectation, etc ... feel free to add all the firsts and historical occasion with the advent of this little one. Cheers! Jacinda, we should be in the record book for something on these.

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Congratulations to our PM on the wonderful news.

Bhutto of Pakistan was officially the first leader to be pregnant and had a baby during her leadership of a country.

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Can you imagine the grin on Winnie’s face , and Winnie grandstanding as Acting Prime Minister ? Maybe just maybe he knew about the pregnancy and pick Labour so he can at last realize his dream of being prime minister even if it is just acting prime minister. God help us all and god help New Zealand .

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First off, congratulations to Jacinda and Clark. Having a child is the most magical part of life.,

However, the "six weeks off" thing is a bit of a laugh. Has Jacinda factored in morning sickness, lowered immune system during pregnancy (more illness), post natal health matters, the general tiredness that comes with pregnancy including the period leading into giving birth? How will she be able to fulfil the duties of her office and uphold a PMs schedule?

The issue isn't so much that she will need time off, that's fine. The issue is that there is a real possibility that Winston will now take a larger role - this makes the (still) undisclosed 33 page coalition document of vital importance. The document needs to be released.

As for the "would a man be asked this question" brigade - of course not. That's because during his partners' pregnancy a man doesn't suffer from morning sickness and the other ailments which come along with the process. Turning genuine questions about how our Prime Minister's pregnancy will be managed during and after her pregnancy into a gender discrimination issue is very disingenuous.

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Reading these comments so far one can see the huge divide in opinions between those who are modern and forward-thinking and the archaic sexist dinosaurs.

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What is so great about being "modern" ? - just have a look at the world & NZ= is it really better than say 40 years ago ?

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The what.....are you for real.
Having babies in Parliament is not an acceptable past time.
We elect members to run the country not their families in Parliament.
It is not a female show house for morning coffee and a chat at $200.000 a pop each.
This is not your so called sexist nonsense...this is reality and high time you got a grip on it.

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Womans magazine editors will be recruiting new staff to put on ''baby watch''.
The fact that this is headline news says more about NZers than the new to be parents.

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Is it customary for an unmarried couple conceiving a child for the child to bear the surname of the father?
The big question we will have in the press is speculation over the first names he/she will be given.

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All the mums in my office weren’t impressed by her six weeks off. Does it now mean they’re not good enough mums/humans because they were selfish and took six month off? Many think so.
I think Princess Jacinda is displaying the typical dillusion that many first time mums display during their first pregnancy: that it’s easy and nothing’s goung to change because they’ve got spreadsheets and timelines to keep this baby under control.
Trouble is, it never ends like this. Ever.
Labour need her. Otherwise they’re stuffed. If motherhood turns out to be tough, baby issues (considering her age it’ll be a concern) or she suffers from post natal depression, it’s going to be a very interesting time.
Personally, I think she needs to take more time off. For the sake of her child.
And before the accusations come flying in accusing me of being all sorts of things, I’ve two kids and for both of them I took six months off when they were born to support my missus.
It was tough.

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Why are those people comparing their lives to Jacinda's? They're obviously very different. Jacinda accepted a very full-time role, and is lucky to have Clark step in as a stay at home dad. Fun fact: men can be just as involved with children as women.
No one castigates men for not spending enough time with their children so why do you feel the need to say "she should take more time off for the sake of her child".
She's already aware it's not going to be easy and has accepted she will need to have help, which is only fair with any child.
(Edited)

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You might want to read some of basic parenting books.

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My son is 18 months old. I am at home with him most days. The experts tell us that a child develops the most in the initial 2 years of life. Who am I to argue with them? He literally imitates everything that I do (which is not always a good thing). When he is older he is likely to take less cues from his parents and more from his peers. Hence his need for his parents will diminish a bit. My basic understanding of the reality of the PM role is days that start first thing and finish around 10 at night or later. If Ardern was actually to do what other PM's have done she would literally not see her child awake 5 or 6 days a week. The likelihood is that she will not do those hours and will delegate more. So one way or another either her child will get nothing much from her or the country will get less in terms of hours on the job than it typically has received. Other PM's have had older kids who perhaps don't need their parents as much on a day to day basis. Sure solo parents manage to do it but if her idea is to set an inspirational example to other women on having it all then it will be a great challenge. If she were to resign sometime over the next 2-3 years it wouldn't be a huge surprise. So the great feminist experiment being lauded in the popular press may yet backfire. Only time will tell

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Leadership is about being authentic.

What is more authentic than giving birth to life?

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I thought it was about being effective

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No information given to us on who the co-coalition was going to be (or the coalition agreement once that was decided); no information on who the Prime Minister (for this time at least) was going to be; no information on her plans to take the necessary time off. Very happy for her and her partner, but this is a complete and utter joke. The headless labour party now will go into meltdown.

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Congrats to the PM, NZ showing the world how things should be done.

Like every other couple, they'll make it work.

I'm not surprised by the pathetic and hysterical comments from the resident fossils. Thankfully such people are becoming more and more irrelevant these days...

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This old fossil remembers the days when the hippies had all the answers and it was going to be an age of enlightenment and understanding.
Any of you young liberals know how all that turned out?
Just because you are young and have fresh ideas, doesn't make them right or wrong. Just because you are old and have seen it all before doesn't make you right or wrong, each idea needs to stand on it's own merits regardless of the proponent.
Interesting that you choose to use one prejudice to ridicule the perception of another.

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A typical response from a right wing fossil who reads the NBR!

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I guess you meant intelligent, thoughtful and substantive rather than mere schoolyard inspired name calling

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Nice work Labour. We will now have a man who lost his electoral seat and was never voted to be Prime Minister, as Prime Minister (for how long remains to be seen). We laugh at American politics....

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Did we have a vote on who should be Prime Minister? Pretty sure it's the US that elects a leader, not us mate

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When did Winston know? The knowledge that he would be prime minister within five months or picking his political partner must have been tempting.

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at least this "wee one" will be good at fishing.

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Looking after a newborn will be a cakewalk compared to looking after Winston.

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I seriously despair for the quality of the education system in this country if this is the meeting place of "intelligent business" - two things to note:

1. We do not have a presidential system of government and a prime-minister doesn't equal a president in New Zealand no matter how much twitter you follow or house of cards you watch.

2. We are currently in the midst of a 7 week recess of no parliament at all (let alone just sans Prime Minister) and the sky hasn't fallen in but for all those chicken littles worried about the reign of Winston later in the year perhaps it is best you hit the beach at that time.

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If parliament were all to take off the time she will be away, I would be a lot happier, it's the leaving the numties running the place that worries me most.

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Bet those who are questioning Jacinda's ability to manage 1 child didn't even think to question Bill English's management of 7 of his brood...

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We’ll all just have to wait and see won’t we.

Some of these comments give me a real appreciation of what women are up against. Fact is human beings reproduce and happens to be the woman who carries the baby. From some employers point of view that’s a liability. But we need to think bigger than that and respect this role that woman do without penalising them.

6 weeks - no comment.

Clarke is a lucky guy to witness something amazing that very few men get to participate in so fully.

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Tax the population to control the nation. Erode the hard working home owners and steal their equity.
Let the state become the Landlord.

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Politicians choose the government in NZ not the people; and a politician now chooses the Prime Minister for how long who knows? It is said: that politician knew his chances when in his 7.5% negotiations. Who knows?

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The overriding problem I seem to be having difficulty getting past here is that had we been given the option of a Labour/NZ First party with Winston at the head and Jacinda pretty much out of the picture for most of the year - would they have been elected? The picture of a frozen ball of ice in a mythical hot place comes to mind. I just feel we have a government that no-one really wanted and will not function the way even those who thought they were voting for it wish.

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I voted for the Nats and thought another round would do us all good but i didnt realise how out of touch their campaign strategy was and they were stuffed well and truly by the unmentionable and now a baby.So its all over rover for the long term and a lesson for assuming a walk to power.They now look ordinary and thats a bit scary.

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I got morning sickness reading the Herald's relentless articles on this preganancy

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This is great news, people should be celebrating this. Some comments are disgusting and downright ugly.

Having children is part of life and hence should be celebrated.

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Jacinda you are so not a pm
Read John keys book that out Lines the
Pms work load
Jacinda you cannot be a pm and a mother
The danger is you will fail at both
You have already made a fool of yourself on the world stage. Liz jones was the first to tell you
That your a loonie
You are not transparent in any way
You have completely misled the nz public

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And knowingly were up the duff upon Winston's coup but chose self interest, not public interest, to took / take the PM's (unelected) pay anyway....!!! Big family starter boost haul for Comrade Ardern.

brings new whole new irony and meaning to milking from the public breast!

If you were genuine, you'd stand down.

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Old man shakes fist at cloud

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Ironic. The people who are lambasting Ardern for "deceit" seem to overlap pretty significantly with those who gave English and Barclay a free pass.

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Surely this has been engineered by Winston...

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