June 24 (UPI) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford announced the name of their newborn daughter Sunday.
The couple revealed they named their firstborn daughter Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford as they addressed the media while Ardern held the baby in her arms.
“[Neve] means bright and radiant, and snow, which seem like a good combination for Matariki and for solstice,” Ardern said.
She went on to explain that the newborn’s middle name “Te Aroha” was a reference to a mountain in her family’s home town.
“Te Aroha is our way of reflecting the amount of love this baby has been shown even before she arrived,” Ardern said. “It’s also the place where all my family are from and I grew up under that mountain.”
Ardern added she and Gayford struggled with the decision at first and had a short list of names prepared before shea gave birth.
“We wanted to wait until the baby arrived to really see which one felt like it worked, we chose Neve because we just liked it and when we met her we thought she looked she suited the name,” she said.
Neve was born early Thursday morning, making Ardern, 37, the second world leader to give birth while in office, and the first in more than a quarter-century. Late Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto gave birth to her daughter Bakhtawar in 1990.
“I won’t forget the look on Jacinda’s face when she finally held the baby. It was all a bit of a blur for the both of us, but she has obviously been through so much…she looked absolutely just stunned and very, very happy,” Gayford said.
Ardern will take six weeks parental leave to care for Neve before Gayford, who hosts a fishing documentary series, will care for her at home full time.
“Clark’s been as much of a role model here as I am and that’s been something that I’ve heard a lot of people talk about, too — and it’s true,” Ardern said. “So I hope for little girls and boys that there’s a future where they can make choices about how they raise their family and what kind of career they have, that are just based on what they want and what makes them happy.”