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New Zealand's New First Kid Goes Home

PM Jacinda Ardern leaves hospital, begins first maternity leave by a global leader
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2018 9:06 AM CDT
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, with her partner Clarke Gayford, holds their baby girl, Neve, at Auckland Hospital on Sunday, June 24, 2018. Ardern made her first public appearance on...   (Greg Bowker/New Zealand Herald via AP)
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(Newser) – Usually when global leaders check out of the hospital it's not in a car that says "Baby on Board," but New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern is now only the second sitting leader to do so—along with partner Clarke Gayford and 3-day-old daughter—and the first to go on maternity leave. On the way out of Auckland City Hospital on Sunday, Ardern took a few questions from reporters and revealed the child's name: Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, reports Sky News. "We chose Neve because we just liked it, and when we met her we thought she looked like she suited the name," she said, while "Te Aroha" means "love" in Maori, and "was our way of reflecting the amount of love this baby has been shown even before she even arrived."

The PM hopes her situation won't be nearly so notable in the near future, notes the AP. Ardern is taking six weeks' leave, and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has taken the nation's reins while little Neve runs Ardern's show. "We'll do what every other parent does and learn the little nuances of the way that Neve wants to work," the new mom says. "And just figure things out as we go." (Meanwhile, there's a big New Zealand conspiracy.)

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