New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern gives birth to baby girl


"Feeling very lucky to have a healthy baby girl that arrived at 4.45pm weighing 3.31 kg (7.3 lb)".

Office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand via APJacinda Ardern, her partner Clarke Gayford and their new baby in Auckland City Hospital on Thursday.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will now serve as Acting Prime Minister in New Zealand for the next six weeks while she is on maternity leave.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a daughter Thursday and posted a message welcoming the healthy newborn "to our village".

Ms Ardern's due date was June 17. She also changed travel plans, saying she didn't want to "tempt fate" so close to the birth.

In 1990, Benazir Bhutto gave birth to a daughter while serving as Pakistan's prime minister.

The former PM said the new mum is a "remarkable woman who crashes through glass ceilings with apparent ease".

The Prime Minister's Office is on the ninth floor of the Beehive, where her staff will remain.

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Yuka Ogata took her seven-month-old son to join a municipal assembly session in western Kumamoto city, but other lawmakers asked her to leave - ostensibly because rules stipulated that only politicians, staff members and city officials were allowed to take part.

However, the Prime Minister will still be consulted on all major decisions.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses Parliament in May in Wellington, New Zealand.

Ardern shared a photo of the trio on her Instagram.

Sources say that the baby arrived without much fanfare, with Gayford driving Ardern to a public hospital. She has said she's confident the government will continue to run smoothly in her absence.

Ardern became the leader of New Zealand's Labour Party in September and was elected prime minister a few weeks later.

Clark wrote in the opinion piece that the couple's new baby has "considerable significance" for the country as a whole.

Offering his congratulations, New Zealand opposition leader Simon Bridges said: 'Being parents is a joy and a privilege and we are sure your new arrival will fill your lives with all the happiness our children have ours.