Jacinda and Clarke reveal their baby girl's name!

we love 24/06/2018

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford have introduced New Zealand to their baby daughter.

Her name is Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford.

Neve is the Anglicised spelling of Niamh, which means "bright" in Irish. In Irish legends, Niamh was the daughter of the sea god.

"We went through that struggle for a matter of months where we kept a shortlist of names and we wanted to wait until the baby arrived to really see which one felt like it worked," Ms Ardern said.

"We chose Neve because we just liked it, and when we met her we thought she looked like she suited the name. It also means bright and radiant and snow, which seemed like a good combination for Matariki and for solstice. 

She then went on to explain the significance of Neve's middle name. 

"Te Aroha was something we settled on quite early. It was our way of reflecting the amount of love she received, before she arrived," said Ms Ardern."It seemed to show that love and generosity. It's also the place all my family are from. I grew up under that mountain.

"I'm not placing any great expectations on this little baby except happiness and love."

Ms Ardern gave birth at 4:45pm on Thursday.

She took time to thank everyone at Auckland City Hospital for their kindness, warmth, and care.

"From the midwives and the nurses to even the people we saw less of; the security team who have been with us; the comms team here at the hospital; the people who came and cleaned our room and gave us food - the kindness has been really overwhelming."

She said she was grateful for the messages of kindness and best wishes from the New Zealand public, ever since she announced she was pregnant.

"To me, in those messages, we saw a reflection of how open and generous New Zealanders are and that has been the case all the way through and it definitely continued after our little one arrived. 

"We just wanted to say thank you, and we're all doing really well - sleep deprived, but super well."

Ms Ardern is the second world leader to give birth while in office in modern times.

When she arrived at Auckland City Hospital, Winston Peters became Acting Prime Minister. He had already stepped into Ms Ardern's Wellington-based duties after doctors advised the Prime Minister not to fly in the last few days of her pregnancy.

Ms Ardern said she would take six weeks maternity leave after the birth of her child. Mr Gayford will be the child's primary caregiver once she returns to work.

Her first overseas trip with the baby is likely to be to the Pacific Islands Forum, which this year is being held in Nauru. 

She is then expected to take the baby and Mr Gayford with her when she attends the United Nations General Assembly in late September.