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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pregnant, Winston Peters to step in as acting PM

Friday 19th January 2018

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is pregnant, due in June, and deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will take over the role for six weeks after the baby is born.

In a press release, Ardern said she met with Peters yesterday to share the news. Ardern said she will be "contactable and available throughout the six week period when needed."

"Mr Peters and I have a great relationship, and I know that together we’ll make this period work," she said. "I will make arrangements for appropriate ministers to act in my other portfolios over the six weeks I am away from Parliament. At the end of my leave I will resume all Prime Ministerial duties."

Ardern first made the announcement this morning on Instagram, posting that her partner Clarke Gayford will be a stay-at-home father. The Prime Minister said she and Gayford had been told they would not be able to conceive without help, which has "made this news a fantastic surprise."

The Prime Minister knew about the pregnancy on Oct. 13, after election day but six days before Peters said he would support a Labour-led government, saying the nation voted for change. 

"As many couples do in the early stages, we kept it to ourselves," she said. "From a personal perspective, I am so looking forward to my new role as a parent. But I am equally focused on my job and responsibilities as Prime Minister." 

(BusinessDesk)

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