NZ PM Jacinda Ardern engaged to longtime partner

Reuters. Wellington | Published: 11:03, May 03,2019


New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern walks back to her baby Neve and partner Clarke Gayford, after speaking at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York City, New York, US, on September 24, 2018. — Reuters file photo

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern is engaged to her longtime partner Clarke Gayford after a proposal over the Easter holidays, her spokesperson said on Friday.

Gayford, the 41-year-old host of a TV fishing show, takes care of their ten-month-old daughter Neve Te Aroha, while Ardern, 38, runs the country.

Her pregnancy announced in early 2018 was seen by many as a symbol of progress for women in leadership roles. She is only the second elected leader to give birth while in office, after Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto in 1990.

The calm and compassion shown by Ardern in response to the killing of 50 Muslims in March burnished the credentials of a leader who has been criticised domestically over handling of the economy and flip flops in government policy.

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