Jacinda has a duckling

June 21, 2018 • 8:00 am

. . . . or rather, a Kiwi. And as an honorary Kiwi, I’m delighted to announce that New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, gave birth to a baby girl yesterday. The father is her parter Clarke Gayford.

The happy couple with their first child:

As the Guardian reported:

Ardern posted the news to her Facebook page, saying her daughter was born at 4.45pm.

“Welcome to our village wee one,” she wrote, next to a picture of her and partner Clarke Gayford cuddling the newborn.

“Feeling very lucky to have a healthy baby girl that arrived at 4.45pm weighing 3.31kg (7.3lb). Thank you so much for your best wishes and your kindness. We’re all doing really well thanks to the wonderful team at Auckland City hospital.”

. . . The former prime minister Helen Clark told Radio NZ that the birth was a fine example to young people in New Zealand.

“Jacinda’s done it her way, what a remarkable story.

“She’s taken it in her stride, New Zealanders have taken it in their stride … all round I think we’re showing huge maturity as a country with this.”

Ardern is taking only six weeks of maternity leave although she’s entitled to 26 weeks of paid leave. She has a country to run!

I add my congratulations to that of the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, though I don’t understand the Maori words (readers can help):

Gayford, a television presenter, announced that he will become the “First Bloke,” a stay-at-home dad. What a great country!

Oh, and the 37-year-old Ardern is only the second world leader in modern times to give birth while in office. (The first was Benazir Bhutto in 1990.)

19 thoughts on “Jacinda has a duckling

  1. A duckling would at least get flight feathers and fledge. A kiwi is of course flightless (or a fruit). Poor Jacinda is going to have this one following her around forever. Even Honey will eventually unload her brood.

    1. In my experience daughters get out there and do stuff. They don’t take root in the basement.

      (Sons are great too)

        1. One good thing about teenage daughters – they’re MUCH easier to embarrass with public displays from dorky dads. A simple dance in public to some obscure pop song is usually sufficient.

          Boys are harder to embarrass, so blackmail strategies to get teens to do what you want aren’t as effective as with the girls.

  2. in re ” Tēnā koe i tō tamāhine.
    Ngā mihi mahana, ” thus in English:
    “You are your daughter. Warm greetings.”

    Congratulations, Mama and Daddy !
    TO continued g o o o o d health and happiness !


    1. What, d’ya”spose, ‘ld be this dude’s greeting
      to Prime Minister Ardern and Partner Gayford:

      “Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker says
      only a man could hold
      his ‘very challenging position.

      Of course, it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position,’ Akbar Al Baker told reporters ”


      I ‘ld state to him and wish I could thus,
      “But … … can he grow into itself and nourish
      a babe in under or even over,
      say, about nine months’ time ?

      Then, work INside the home as well as
      OUTside that babe’s home for
      … … at least the next 18 years’ time ? Huh ? ”


  3. Oh, and the 37-year-old Ardern is only the second world leader in modern times to give birth while in office. (The first was Benazir Bhutto in 1990.)

    That number would surely be much higher if the world actually wanted female world leaders. Most countries have never had one. Too bad the U.S. couldn’t kick the trend…instead we got a shit show.

  4. Maori translation: Welcome to your daughter. Warm greetings.

    Tena koe is a phrase that can mean lots of things and Google translate has it wrong if you try it with the ambassador’s words. The ambassador has it right; in this context it means welcome.

    Two half-funny stories. At c. 4.45 at my place there was an earthquake. Spooky!

    One of the reporters on baby watch put on a trilby he hasn’t worn for years at 4.44 pm to try and keep warm (winter solstice here remember) and the baby was born at 4.45, so he’s announced it’s now his lucky hat.

    Of course. No one knew the baby was born at that time. The reporters continued to be told they’d be updated at 7pm, and the 6pm TV news shows all opened with “no baby yet.”

    At that point they took pity on everyone and put the above pic on Instagram. It’s expected we won’t see them for the next six weeks except for a couple of minutes when they leave hospital today (Friday). That probably won’t be for about 5 1/2 hours at about 1pm. (8pm Thu in Chicago.)

  5. “First bloke” to have a “first baby” lol!
    First breastfeeding in parliament while debating the budget?
    that would make a few waves.
    Jacinda is a much liked and loved leader, as she is very down to earth, a smart woman and totally approachable.
    Thanks for this too Prof(E!
    “What a great country” yes we are, today and hopefully tomorrow.

  6. Jacinda is just doing what billions of women have done for millennia, having babies and then just getting on with it, usually within hours of the birth. Why the media has to beat it up is a mystery to me. No one ever comments on the male politicians whose partners have babies: “Ooohh! Fred Smith’s partner just had a baby”! We would think that very strange, but when the politician is a woman it’s front paqe news. What a crock.

    1. IME the media pay close attention to what a Prime Minister does–in public or private life–no matter their sex/gender.

      1. Not talking about what prime ministers do in public or private, I’m talking about women doing what women have always done, regardless of their status: just getting on with it. I can’t remember the last time the media made a fuss of the wife of a male politician having a baby. It seems to me that there is an underlying implication with Ardern that she can’t do two things at once without one of them suffering – as I said, women have been multi-tasking for millennia without comment, they are expected to do it, but as soon as one of them gets the top job it’s all “ooohhh! prime minister has baby while in office”.

        1. Yes, I understood what you meant, and while I agree with you that women do get mixed messages about being able to handle childbirth and a job at the same time, I don’t see that happening in this case, as here and in the tweets above there is nothing but positivity and congratulations.

          Let’s see–the birth (and subsequent death) of the (JF) Kennedy’s son Patrick made for quite a few headlines. I guess that is reaching pretty far back, though. 🙂

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