On Wednesday, The Guardian reported that New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the first pregnant world leader in almost 30 years, arrived at Auckland hospital to give birth to her first child, according to a statement from Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford.
Ardern’s due date was Sunday, so this news has been highly anticipated and watched over the past few weeks. She will be just the second world leader to give birth while in office—Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto, in 1990, was the first. The 37-year-old also became New Zealand’s youngest prime minister in 150 years when she won the election in October.
Ardern is expected to take six weeks of maternity leave before heading back to the office, after which Gayford will take care of the child, full-time it seems. He is giving up his job hosting a fishing documentary series to be a stay-at-home dad. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will act as prime minister in Ardern’s stead while she’s on leave.
When Ardern first announced the news of her pregnancy in January, she said,“I am not the first woman to multitask. I am not the first woman to work and have a baby. We are going to make this work, and New Zealand is going to help us raise our first child.”
New Zealand politicians have already begun expressing their excitement and well wishes over the impending birth. Climate Change minister James Shaw said it was “an historic moment for our country.” Peters said, “It’s a happy day and on behalf of the coalition government we wish her and Clarke all the very best.” It goes to show that a vastly different kind of governance truly is possible, and, I think, only throws into greater relief the depravity of our own anti-women and children administration.