(CNN)New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Friday that she and her partner, Clarke Gayford, are expecting their first child in June.
“Clarke and I are really excited that in June our team will expand from two to three, and that we’ll be joining the many parents out there who wear two hats,” she said in a Facebook post. “I’ll be Prime Minister AND a mum, and Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay-at-home dad.”Ardern said she learned she was pregnant in October, “but as many couples do in the early stages, we kept it to ourselves,” she said. The news came as a surprise, she said, as the couple had always hoped to have a child, “but we had been told we would need help for that to happen,” she said.Read More”We wanted a family but weren’t sure it would happen for us, which has made this news unexpected but exciting.”Ardern said she asked Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters to take on the role of acting prime minister for six weeks after the baby is born.”As is the case when I am overseas, Mr. Peters will act as Prime Minister, working with my office while staying in touch with me. I fully intend to be contactable and available throughout the six-week period when needed,” she said in a statement on the government’s website. Ardern, 37, became New Zealand’s youngest female Prime Minister in October after the left-wing Labour Party threw its support behind her.”Clarke and I are privileged to be in the position where Clarke can stay home to be our primary caregiver. Knowing that so many parents juggle the care of their new babies, we consider ourselves to be very lucky.”Well-wishers including former Prime Minister Helen Clark and US Ambassador Scott Brown congratulated the couple on the news.
— Ambassador Brown (@USAmbNZ) January 18, 2018 “Wishing Jacinda Ardern & Clarke Gayford all the best as they expect their first child in June,” Clark said on Twitter. “A super busy year coming up and much to look forward to. Every woman should have the choice of combining family & career.”