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New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern gives birth

June 20, 2018

New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern has given birth to her first child after being admitted to hospital on Thursday. She is the second world leader to bear a child while in office.

Jacinda Ardern and her partner with newborn baby
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Jacinda Ardern/Instagram

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a baby girl on Thursday, according to officials.

She arrived at Auckland City Hospital just before 6 a.m. local time (18.00 UTC) with her partner Clarke Gayford by her side.

Ardern posted the news on her Instagram account along with a photo of the newborn and her partner.

"Welcome to our village wee one. Feeling very lucky to have a healthy baby girl that arrived at 4.45 p.m. 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," she wrote.

Arden had announced in January, three months after taking office as the world's youngest female prime minister, that she was expecting a baby with her partner, television fishing show presenter Clarke Gayford.

The 37-year-old is New Zealand's third female prime minister and is only the second world leader to bear a child while in office, following in the footsteps of the late Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, from the populist party New Zealand First has become acting prime minister and will run the country for the next six weeks while Ardern takes maternity leave, the statement added.

Peters has been performing some of Ardern's duties already, including running Cabinet meetings in the capital, Wellington.

The birth had been highly anticipated in the South Pacific nation of nearly 5 million people, and Ardern continued to work right up until the birth, with her partner posting a photo of her poring over official documents from home on social media on Wednesday afternoon, along with the hashtag "#stillwaiting."

law,mm/sms (AFP, Reuters)

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