Jacinda Ardern: New Zealand prime minister pregnant with first child

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Lots of people juggle a lot of things in their personal and private lives, and I’m not unusual in that. Plenty of women have multitasked before me, and I want to acknowledge that.”

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Gayford said he was looking forward to diving into “the great unknown” of being a dad, and was getting lots of advice from his female friends and sisters.

“Initially it will be really important that Jacinda gets as much time as possible [with the baby] so I am going to try and be as flexible as possible, and close, so she’s across everything as much as possible.”

A reporter at Ardern’s media conference asked if the couple planned on getting married, to which Gayford responded, “Wow, I like the idea that we’re doing everything in reverse.”

In early August, six hours after being elected to lead the Labour party, Ardern was grilled about her baby plans repeatedly by New Zealand media.

In scenes that quickly went viral, Ardern fought back, defending women’s rights to privacy about their baby plans. She said it was “unacceptable” for any employer to ask a woman whether or not she intended to have children.

“I decided to talk about it, it was my choice, so that means I am happy to keep responding to those questions,” said Ardern, who had in the past expressed the desire to have a family.

“But, you,” she said, turning her chair to face the TV host Mark Richardson, and pointing her finger directly at him, “it is totally unacceptable in 2017 to say that women should have to answer that question in the workplace. It is unacceptable, it is unacceptable.”

The AM co-host, Amanda Gillies, applauded as Ardern went on: “It is a women’s decision about when they choose to have children, and it should not predetermine whether or not they are given a job or have job opportunities.”

The exchange and repeated questioning of Ardern over her plans for children sparked debate within New Zealand and accusations of sexism.

Throughout her two-month election battle and since becoming PM, Ardern has repeatedly been asked about whether she intended to have children, and how she would be able to juggle being an effective prime minister with raising a family.

Ardern said she had waited till now to share the news with New Zealanders to ensure the baby was healthy and well.

“From a personal perspective, I am so looking forward to my new role as a parent. But I am equally focused on my job and responsibilities as prime minister.

“While 2018 will be the year I become a mum, it will also be a year that the government finishes our 100-day plan, and starts pursuing all of the priorities that will build a better New Zealand. I look forward to leading that work, and having a slightly expanded family join me on that journey.”

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