New Zealand leader names daughter Neve, leaves hospital

BAKHTAWAR Bhutto standing next to the portrait of her parents Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari. Her mother told almost no one she was pregnant while in office as prime minister until Bakhtawar was born on Jan 25 1990

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford have introduced the public to her daughter and revealed the newborn's name.

Ardern gave birth in Auckland Hospital, the country's largest public hospital, with Gayford at her side.

Ardern said Neve means "bright" and "radiant" as well as "snow", which was fitting because the baby was born on the Southern Hemisphere's winter solstice.

They also chose Te Aroha in tribute to the amount of love the baby had been shown.

"When we met her we thought she looked like she suited the name", she said.

Little Neve was born on Thursday afternoon New Zealand time, weighing 7.3lb, but the prime minister was kept in hospital for three days mainly due to security arrangements.

"I won't forget the look on Jacinda's face when she finally held the baby", Mr Gayford said.

Gayford will be taking on the role of stay-at-home dad, when Ardern returns to work after six weeks of leave.

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Ardern said that while she is on leave, she would be finding her way as a new parent.

Gayford said the birth was "all a bit of a blur. for both of us". She has now become the first woman in the country's history to give birth while in office.

Ardern became New Zealand's youngest prime minister when she took office through a coalition deal past year after an inconclusive election, and now became the first woman in the country's history to give birth while in office.

The 37-year-old began by announcing the baby would be called Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford - or Neve Gayford for short.

A spokesman said the message Ardern referred to from Prince Harry and Meghan was a "lovely hand-written note" that looked as if it was written by Meghan.

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

At the time, she said she'd found out about the pregnancy just one week before her Labour Party formed government and that it came as a surprise to her, and her partner, as they believed they would not be able to conceive naturally.

Since the birth the new family have since been inundated with good wishes, gestures and gifts, ranging from a private message from the Queen and congratulatory tweets from world leaders, such as Canada's Justin Trudeau and United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May, and a baby blanket from Ngāi Tahu.

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