New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives birth to first child

Jacinda Ardern's last week of work as PM ahead of taking leave was conducted from Auckland within driving distance

Jacinda Ardern's last week of work as PM ahead of taking leave was conducted from Auckland within driving distance

In the interim, Ardern has passed her duties on to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.

Ardern, 37, arrived at the country's largest public hospital at 5:50 a.m. local time with her partner Clarke Gayford, her spokesman said.

Instagram posts, national excitement and well-wishing from political rivals: Jacinda Ardern's journey to motherhood was very different to that made three decades earlier by Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the only other world leader to have given birth while in office.

Ms Ardern is one of the few elected leaders to hold office while pregnant. "We're all doing really well thanks to the wonderful team at Auckland City Hospital", Ardern said on social media after giving birth to the baby.

Ardern is the first world leader to give birth since 1990, the BBC reports. "That's made this news a fantastic surprise", she said in January.

The Labour Party leader won plaudits in last year's election campaign for dismissing questions about whether she meant to become a mother, saying it was unacceptable that women should have to answer such a question in the workplace.

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"I am not the first woman to multitask".

James Shaw, the minister of Climate Change and leader of the progressive Green Party, which shares a support agreement with Ardern's Labour government, said: "This is an exciting time for Jacinda and Clarke and an historic moment for our country". "These things may seem minor at the time, but to the labouring woman, he or she is her rock, her strength to succeed!" says Liz Pearce, Parent Education and Operations Manager at Parents Centres New Zealand.

Ardern is planning to take a six-week leave before returning to work.

"Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is now Acting Prime Minister", the office said. The politician and her partner Clarke Gayford are yet to reveal the name of their baby but said she arrived at 4.45pm weighing 7lbs 3oz.

Prior to her, Queen Elizabeth II gave birth to Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964 after her ascension to the throne in 1952.

There were also messages from Australian politicians, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and worldwide leaders.

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