New Zealand PM Jacinda Arden to marry father of her child

by Kim Boateng Posted on May 3rd, 2019

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her long-term partner Clarke Gayford have become engaged to be married, her office said Friday.

A spokesman for Ardern and Gayford said the couple, who have a baby daughter Neve, agreed to tie the knot over the Easter break.

He could not reveal whether a date for the prime ministerial nuptials had been set or who had proposed to whom.

“I can’t say anything about it other than they are engaged and it happened over Easter,” the spokesman told reporters.

Ardern, 38, had Neve last June, becoming only the second prime minister in the world to give birth while in office and later taking the infant onto the floor of the UN Assembly in New York.

Since the birth, Gayford, a television fishing show host, has taken on the role of stay-at-home dad.

Ardern said in an interview last year that she would not propose to Gayford, even though she regards herself as a feminist.

“I want to put him through the pain and torture of having to agonise about that question himself,” she told reporters.

News of the engagement broke after journalists noticed Ardern was wearing a diamond ring while carrying out her duties on Friday.

However, there have been at least two false alarms in the past when Ardern has been spotted sporting bling on her ring finger.

On both occasions she quashed the speculation, saying she had to constantly swap her rings between fingers on her left hand due to eczema.

Arden was thrust onto the world stage March 15 when a gunman opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 people. The country reacted immediately, passing a ban on semi-automatic weapons and magazines and ammunition that could modify a gun into a semi-automatic weapon.

“We are ultimately here because 50 people died and they do not have a voice,” Arden said. “We in this House are their voice and today we have used that voice wisely.”

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