Current Affairs

The partners backing Bill English and Jacinda Ardern

The NZ political leaders' partners were not far from sight during election day.

While the shape of the new government is not yet certain, what the leaders of our main two political parties can be sure of is the support of their nearest and dearest.

National Party leader Bill English had his wife Mary their six children by his side throughout Election Day and on stage at the party's function at Auckland's Sky City late on Saturday night.

In his speech to National Party members and volunteers, he thanked his family for their support throughout the campaign. The English family has featured prominently in many of his media appearances and interviews during the run up to the election.

Bill and Mary English.
Bill and Mary English.
The couple on stage at the National Party's election night function.
The couple on stage at the National Party's election night function.

Meanwhile on Saturday afternoon, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern took a break from politics while votes were being cast to catch up on some DIY at her Auckland home with partner Clarke Gayford.

Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford  varnishing a fence at their home in Point Chevalier, Auckland.
Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford varnishing a fence at their home in Point Chevalier, Auckland.

The pair have been been in a relationship for the past three years. TV presenter Clarke had been away overseas filming for TV show Fish of the Day for much of the campaign but was a firm fixture by Jacinda's side on Election Day.

He told RNZ's John Campbell that they had barely had a chance to talk about the situation they found themselves in.

"I really haven't had a chance to absorb all of the successes since Jacinda took over as leader."

When Jacinda was thronged by well-wishers and cameras at the Labour Party's function in Auckland's Aotea Centre on Saturday night, Clarke stood by her and gave her a warm hug on stage.

Jacinda and Clarke on election night.
Jacinda and Clarke on election night.

The two party leaders will face some tough negotiations over the next few days as they each try to get the support of New Zealand First to form a government.