Jacinda Ardern Shares the Touching Meaning Behind Her New Baby’s Name

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford explain the meaning behind their new baby’s name.

By Winsome Walker Jun 25, 2018 12:59 AMTags
Jacinda Ardern, Clarke GayfordTwitter

Welcome to the world, Neve!

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford revealed the name of their newborn daughter on Sunday and shared the sweet meaning behind it.

Appearing outside Auckland City Hospital with her television presenter partner and their newborn baby, Ardern announced they had picked the name Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, or Neve Gayford for short.

"We chose Neve because we just liked it, and when we met her we thought she looked like she suited the name," the 37-year-old said.

"Also, it means, in various forms, bright and radiant and snow, which seemed like a good combination for Matariki [Maori new year] and for solstice."

The couple decided on Te Aroha—which means love in te reo Māori and is a nod to the town where Ardern's family is from—"quite early".

"Te Aroha was our way of reflecting the amount of love that this baby has been shown before she arrived," the New Zealand leader said.

Neve was born at Auckland City Hospital at 4.45am on Thursday, weighing 3.31kg.

"I won't forget the look on Jacinda's face when she finally held the baby," 40-year-old Clarke told reporters on Sunday.

The Hamilton-born PM follows former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as the second elected world leader to give birth while in office. In an interesting coincidence, Neve shares the same birth day as Bhutto.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will serve as Acting Prime Minister in New Zealand for the next six weeks while Ardern is on maternity leave.

Before heading home, Ardern shared an adorable Facebook video of her holding Neve in her hospital room.

"I just wanted to say a really quick thank you to everyone who has been so kind and so generous from the very moment that we announced that we were having a baby," she said.

"The lovely messages that have come through from across New Zealand have almost been overwhelming—but not surprising."