New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern gets engaged to longtime partner Clarke Gayford after Easter proposal
The couple already has a baby, who they named Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, where 'Aroha' is a Maori word meaning 'love'
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's Prime Minister, has reportedly gotten engaged to her television host partner, Clarke Gayford, according to her chief press secretary Andrew Campbell. He added that the couple got engaged over the Easter holiday weekend last month.
According to CNN, no further details were provided on the joyous union. Surprisingly, there was no sign of an announcement on either Ardern or Gayford's official Facebook and Twitter accounts. The couple already has a baby, who they named Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, where "Aroha" is a Maori word meaning "love". The baby was born in June last year.
Ardern and Gayford first made history when they brought their three-month-old daughter to the United Nations assembly hall during the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit in September. At the time, 41-year-old Gayford tweeted, "I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation inside UN yesterday who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change. Great yarn for her 21st."
The NZ Prime Minister's husband is quite a well-known figure in the country for his work hosting a fishing television show and before that presenting a youth-focused music TV channel. The news of the couple's engagement comes as a surprise since, in a January interview with BBC, Ardern had spoken of her unique outlook towards marriage.
During her conversation, Ardern said that despite being a feminist, she couldn't imagine asking her partner Gayford to marry her. "I want to put him through the pain and torture of having to agonize about that question himself. No, that's letting him off the hook," she joked.
The 38-year-old has earned a reputation for being quite the trailblazer. Last year, she became the first world leader in nearly 30 years to have a child while in office and was New Zealand's youngest Prime Minister in 150 years. She has also recently won praise for her handling of the Christchurch terror attacks, which saw 51 people killed in March.
At the time, Ardern said, "It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack." She explained how New Zealand had been targeted as it "represents the values of diversity, kindness, compassion." She shared, "We are a home for those who share our values and a refuge for those who need it. And those values I can assure you will not and cannot be shaken by this attack."
"These are people who I would describe as having extremist views, that have absolutely no place in New Zealand, and in fact have no place in the world. While we do not have any reason to believe at this stage that there are any other suspects, we are not assuming that at this stage. The joint intelligence group has been deployed and police are putting all of their resources into the situation. The Defence Force is currently transporting additional police staff to the region. The national security threat level has been lifted from low to high," she said in her speech.