New Zealand leader names daughter Neve

Geneva Stokes
June 26, 2018

The new baby has also gained attention from across the pond, receiving letters of love from world leaders, including the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who said they looked forward to meeting the new bub this year.

The Irish name means "radiant" or "bright".

"Neve" (pronounced like leave) means radiant, light or snow and "Te Aroha" (TAY AH-row-ha) means love and is also the name of the mountain and town near where Ardern lived as a child.

"I thought 'how do I reflect the generosity, particularly of all the iwi who gifted us names?' and Te Aroha seemed to be a way". Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford are all smiles with little Neve.

Thanking all of those who sent congratulations and gifts for the new baby - many of them hand-knitted - she said: "Those moments have mattered as much to us as any of those lovely messages of support from around the world".

Many in New Zealand and around the world had held up Ardern's pregnancy - just the second time an elected leader had given birth in office since Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto in 1990 - as a symbol of progress for women.

Ms Ardern said "the moment happened so quickly".

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Ardern's office said Saturday she plans to make her first public appearance since the birth when she leaves Auckland City Hospital on Sunday morning.

"Like everyone we went through the struggle for a matter of months and we kept a shortlist of names and wanted to wait until the baby arrived", Ms Ardern said.

The 37-year-old new mother broke the news of the birth on social media, taking to Instagram to post a photo of herself, her partner, Clarke Gayford, and their newborn daughter. "Sleep deprived, but super well", she said.

Ardern delivered her 3.31 kg (7.3 lb) daughter in the country's largest public hospital on Thursday afternoon with her partner, television presenter Clarke Gayford, at her side.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has left hospital after giving birth to a baby girl. "It was a week before (Deputy Prime Minister) Winston Peters made his decision about how to form a coalition government....so it's been a long time to carry that secret".

"So I hope for little girls and boys that actually there's a future where they can make choices about how they raise their family and what kind of career they have that is just based on what they want and it makes them happy".

She is now on six weeks of maternity leave, with her deputy Winston Peters acting as Prime Minister in her absence.

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