A huge congratulations to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford, who today became the proud parents of a baby girl!
Ardern gave birth to their baby on at 4:45pm today after she went into labour overnight. She was driven to the hospital by Clarke just before 6am this morning.
In true Jacinda Ardern style, the baby's arrival was announced via social media in an Instagram post.
"Welcome to our village wee one," the Prime Minister wrote. "Feeling very lucky to have a healthy baby girl that arrived at 4.45pm weighing 3.31kg (7.3lb) Thank you so much for your best wishes and your kindness. We're all doing really well thanks to the wonderful team at Auckland City Hospital."
Ardern plans to introduce her baby to New Zealand and the rest of the world in a similar way to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who introduced Prince Louis to the world from the steps of Lindo Wing before heading home to focus on getting to know her new baby.
Ardern explained on Breakfast TV last week, "We know there's interest. You want to, at the same time, try and balance having a little bit of private time and, let's be honest, being a train wreck."
When asked if she planned to greet her public looking as immaculate as Duchess Catherine did, Ardern replied, "Absolutely not. I will be an absolute wreck... the least we can do is acknowledge everyone - and we've had lots of well wishers - and then I'm going to hibernate."
Ardern vowed to - and did - work right up until she was in hospital in labour with her baby. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has taken over as Acting Prime Minister until Ardern returns from maternity leave in six weeks' time. However, Ardern has said she plans to remain in contact with Peters from home while she's on leave.
Proud dad Clarke Gayford will be the baby's main caregiver when Ardern returns to work.
Ardern announced her pregnancy on Instagram in January, saying, "And we thought 2017 was a big year! Clarke and I are really excited that in June our team will expand from two to three, and that we'll be joining the many parents out there who wear two hats. I'll be Prime Minister AND a mum, and Clarke will be "first man of fishing" and stay at home dad.
She continued, "I think it's fair to say that this will be a wee one that a village will raise, but we couldn't be more excited. I know there will be lots of questions, and we'll answer all of them (I can assure you we have a plan all ready to go!) But for now, bring on 2018."
Watch our video below, in which Jacinda Ardern shares little-known facts about her. This was filmed just before the PM announced her pregnancy:
A statement from the Prime Minister's office released in the lead up to the birth said, "While the couple are happy to share with the public some moments with their new baby they ask that media respect the family's privacy in the weeks set aside to be together after the birth, and during private family moments."
Congratulations to the happy little family!
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