Jacinda Ardern: 5 Things About NZ PM & 1st World Leader To Have Child In Office In 28 Years
Jacinda Arden just made history, yet again! New Zealand’s 37-year-old prime minister just gave birth while in office, and has inspired women worldwide. Learn more about this remarkable world leader here.
1. She’s been in office for less than a year and already made history multiple times. Jacinda Ardern is only 37, but had an incredible impact on New Zealand politics. Ardern became prime minister in October 2017, making her New Zealand’s third female leader in the past 20 years. She follows in the footsteps of Jenny Shipley (1997–1999), and Helen Clark (1999–2008). She is also New Zealand’s second-youngest prime minister since Edward Stafford took office in 1856. And now, she is not only the first leader in New Zealand to give birth while in office, but just the second in the world for the past 28 years. She’s a remarkable woman, to say the least.
2. She’s being praised for her progressive administration and relationship. Arden’s pregnancy while in office never slowed her down nor affected her public perception. New Zealand is an incredibly progressive country (the first to allow women to vote). Arden has been open about her pregnancy, and her arrangements post-birth. She’s not married, either. Partner Clark Gayford (more on him below), will become their daughter’s primary caregiver after she takes six weeks of maternity leave. During her leave, the deputy prime minister will be in charge of the country. Nothing to it!
3. She’s in a relationship with Clarke Gayford. Gayford, 40, is a radio and television presenter who currently hosts the National Geographic docu-series Fish of the Day. He met Ardern in 2012 when they were introduced by a mutual friend. They got closer when he contacted her to discuss a controversial government bill, and they eventually started dating in 2013. They’ve been together ever since as domestic partners, and are now the happy parents of their first child after welcoming a beautiful baby girl on June 20.
4. She’s a proponent of liberal policies. Ardern has described herself as a social democrat, a progressive, a republican, and a feminist. Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who shared similar ideologies, is her “political hero.” She has called capitalism a “blatant failure” due to extreme homelessness in New Zealand, and has advocated a lower rate of immigration — but wants to increase the acceptance of refugees. She advocates for more Māori electorates in NZ government, and believes that the Māori language should be taught in schools. She’s pro-choice and pro same-sex marriage; she was a member of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, but left because it does not share these views.
5. She’s incredibly relatable and open with her constituents. She hides nothing from her people, and that’s gained her popularity. Just look at her Instagram page: it’s not full of official photos, but personal pics with voters and kids, jokes, and just pics from her personal life.
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