New Zealand Prime Minister’s Baby Makes History At U.N. General Assembly

Jacinda Ardern has been making waves since becoming New Zealand’s prime minister nearly a year ago.

She’s the youngest premier in a century and a half in the country, and one of just three women to ever hold the post. Ardern is only the second sitting head of government to give birth while in office (after Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto). And, following the arrival of her daughter, Neve, she took six weeks of maternity leave, handing the business of governing to her deputy.

Now it’s little Neve’s turn to make history. At just 3 months, she is said to be the youngest person to ever attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Time magazine reports that Ardern, flew out to New York with her partner, Clarke Gayford and Neve, delivering a speech on Monday night at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, with Neve nestled in the front row.

Gayford posted a photo on Twitter of Neve’s security pass, which read “first baby.”

In his Tweet he says, “I wish I could have captured the startled look on Japanese delegation inside UN yesterday who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change.”

Ardern tells The Guardian, “I have the ability to take my child to work, there’s not many places you can do that. I am not the gold standard for bringing up a child in this current environment because there are things about my circumstances that are not the same.”

A new rule in New Zealand allows any government minister with a baby to travel with a nanny or caregiver at government expense. Even so, Ardern told The New Zealand Herald, that she doesn’t expect taxpayers to foot the bill for Gayford’s travel while he cares for Neve.

“There is no spousal programme for this, so we just made a judgement call that we would cover his travel for this trip. He will be going to some things, but he’s primarily traveling to care for Neve,” she tells the Herald.

Whether or not Neve will make more appearances at other official events in New York isn’t known. Ardern told the Herald, they were “playing it by ear.”

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