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Jacinda Ardern

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Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern November 2020 (cropped).jpg
Ardern in November 2020
40th Prime Minister of New Zealand
Assumed office
26 October 2017
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralPatsy Reddy
Cindy Kiro
DeputyWinston Peters
(2017–2020)
Grant Robertson
(2020–present)
Preceded byBill English
17th Leader of the Labour Party
Assumed office
1 August 2017
DeputyKelvin Davis
Preceded byAndrew Little
36th Leader of the Opposition
In office
1 August 2017 – 26 October 2017
DeputyKelvin Davis
Preceded byAndrew Little
Succeeded byBill English
17th Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
In office
1 March 2017 – 1 August 2017
LeaderAndrew Little
Preceded byAnnette King
Succeeded byKelvin Davis
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Mount Albert
Assumed office
8 March 2017
Preceded byDavid Shearer
Majority21,246
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for the Labour Party List
In office
8 November 2008 – 8 March 2017
Succeeded byRaymond Huo
Personal details
Born
Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern

(1980-07-26) 26 July 1980 (age 41)
Hamilton, New Zealand
Political partyLabour
Domestic partnerClarke Gayford
(2013–present; engaged)
ChildrenNeve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford
ParentsRoss Ardern (father)
ResidencePremier House, Wellington
Alma materUniversity of Waikato (BCS)

Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern[1] (/əˈsɪndə ˈɑːrdɜːrn/;[2] born 26 July 1980) is a New Zealand politician. She is the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand and Leader of the Labour Party since 2017. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008. She has been the member of Parliament (MP) for Mount Albert since March 2017.[3]

Ardern was born in Hamilton and grew up in Morrinsville and Murupara. After graduating from the University of Waikato in 2001, Ardern began her career working as a researcher for Prime Minister Helen Clark. She later worked in London in the Cabinet Office, and was elected president of the International Union of Socialist Youth.[4][5] Ardern was first elected as an MP in the 2008 general election, when Labour lost control after nine years. She was later elected to represent the Mount Albert electorate in a by-election in February 2017.

Ardern was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party on 1 March 2017, after the resignation of Annette King. Just five months later, after Labour's leader Andrew Little resignation, Ardern was elected as party leader.[6] She led her party to win 14 seats at the 2017 general election on 23 September, winning 46 seats to the National Party's 56.[7] After working with New Zealand First, a minority coalition government with Labour and New Zealand First was formed, supported by the Green Party. Ardern became Prime Minister and she was sworn in by the governor-general on 26 October 2017.[8] She became the world's youngest female head of government at age 37.[9] Ardern later became the world's second elected head of government to give birth while in office when her daughter was born in June 2018.[10]

Ardern calls herself a social democrat and a progressive.[11][12] Her government has focused on the New Zealand housing crisis, child poverty, and social inequality. In March 2019, she became popular because of her leadership during the Christchurch mosque shootings and for introducing strict gun laws in response. For much of 2020, she also became popular for the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern led the Labour Party to a historic victory in the 2020 general election, winning a majority of 65 seats in Parliament.

Early life[change | change source]

Ardern was born in Hamilton, New Zealand,[13] and grew up as a Mormon.[14][15] She was raised in Morrinsville and Murupara, where her father, Ross Ardern, worked as a police officer.[16] Her mother, Laurell Ardern (née Bottomley), worked as a school catering assistant.[17][18] She studied at Morrinsville College,[19] where she was the student representative on the school's board.[20] She later went to the University of Waikato, graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS) in politics and public relations.[21]

Ardern became interested in politics because her aunt asked her to help her with campaigning for New Plymouth MP Harry Duynhoven during his re-election campaign at the 1999 general election.[22]

Ardern joined the Labour Party at the age of 17 and became a senior figure in the Young Labour party of the party.[23] After graduating from university, she spent time working in the offices of Phil Goff and of Helen Clark as a researcher.[21] She volunteered at a soup kitchen in New York City in the United States[24] and worked on a workers' rights campaign.[25] Ardern moved to London, England where she became a senior policy adviser for British prime minister Tony Blair.[4][26] Ardern also worked at the Home Office to help with a review of policing in England and Wales.[21]

In early 2008, Ardern was elected President of the International Union of Socialist Youth.[5]

Member of Parliament, 2008–present[change | change source]

Early activities[change | change source]

Ahead of the 2008 election, Ardern was ranked 20th on Labour's party list.[27] She would soon return from London to campaign full-time for a seat in the New Zealand Parliament.[28] She also became Labour's candidate for the safe National electorate of Waikato. Ardern lost the election, but entered Parliament as a list MP because of her high ranking in the party list.[27] She became the youngest sitting MP in Parliament.[29]

Opposition Leader Phil Goff promoted Ardern to the front bench, naming her Labour's spokesperson for Youth Affairs and for Justice (Youth Affairs).[30] She made appearances on TVNZ's Breakfast programme as part of the "Young Guns" feature, alongside National MP and future National Party leader Simon Bridges.[31]

Ardern at a Labour event in January 2016

Ardern ran for the parliament seat of Auckland Central for Labour in the 2011 general election, running against incumbent National MP Nikki Kaye for National and Greens candidate Denise Roche.[32] She lost to Kaye by 717 votes.[32] However, she returned to Parliament because of her party list ranking, on which she was ranked 13th.[32][33]

After Goff resigned from the Party leadership, Ardern supported David Shearer for party leader.[30] She was promoted to the fourth-ranking position in his Shadow Cabinet on 19 December 2011, becoming a spokesperson for social development under the new leader.[30] Ardern ran again in Auckland Central at the 2014 general election.[34] She again finished second, but increased her own vote and lowered Kaye's majority from 717 to 600.[34] She was soon ranked 5th on Labour's list and because of this, Ardern still returned to Parliament where she became Shadow spokesperson for Justice, Children, Small Business, and Arts & Culture under new leader Andrew Little.[35]

2017 Mount Albert by-election[change | change source]

Ardern later ran for the Labour nomination for the Mount Albert by-election to be held in February 2017.[36] The by-election was held because of the resignation of David Shearer.[36] When nominations for the Labour Party closed on 12 January 2017, Ardern was the only nominee and was selected.[37] On 21 January, Ardern took part of the 2017 Women's March, a worldwide protest in opposition to Donald Trump, the newly inaugurated President of the United States.[37] She was confirmed as Labour's candidate at a meeting on 22 January.[38][39] Ardern won a landslide victory, winning 77 per cent of votes cast in the preliminary results.[40][41]

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, 2017[change | change source]

Following her win in the by-election, Ardern was elected as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party on 7 March 2017, after the resignation of Annette King.[42] Ardern's vacant list seat was taken by Raymond Huo.[43] However, Ardern would remain as Deputy Leader for exactly five months because she was elected Leader of the Labour Party in August.[44]

Leader of the Opposition, 2017[change | change source]

Ardern campaigning in Wellington, August 2017

On 1 August 2017, just seven weeks before the 2017 general election, Ardern became Leader of the Labour Party and also Opposition Leader, after the resignation of Andrew Little.[45][44] Ardern was confirmed in an election to choose a new leader at a meeting the same day.[44] At 37, Ardern became the youngest leader of the Labour Party in its history.[14] She is also the second female leader of the party after Helen Clark.[46] At first, Little had talked to Ardern on 26 July and said he thought she should take over as Labour leader.[47] Ardern said no and told him to remain as leader.[47]

At her first press conference after her election as leader, she said that the upcoming election campaign would be positive.[23] After her appointment, the party had a large amount of public campagin donations, reaching NZ$700 per minute at its highest.[48] When Ardern became party leader, Labour rose in opinion polls.[47] By late August the party had reached 43 per cent as well as beating the National Party in opinion polls for the first time in over a decade.[47] Critics said that her ideas were similar to Andrew Little's and believed that Labour's sudden increase in popularity was because of her youth and good looks.[14]

In mid-August 2017, Ardern said that a Labour government would create a tax working group to look for the chance of increasing taxes for the wealthy and lowering them for middle-class working families.[49][50] This idea became unpopular and Ardern said that her tax plan would not be pushed in a first term of Labour government.[51][52] Minister of Finance Steven Joyce found that the Labour Party had problems in its $11.7 billion budget.[53][54]

Ardern campaigning at the University of Auckland, September 2017

The Labour and Green parties' proposed water and pollution taxes also became unpopular from farmers.[55] On 18 September 2017, farmers and lobbyists protested against the taxes in Ardern's hometown of Morrinsville.[56][55] During the protest, one farmer had a sign calling Ardern a "pretty Communist".[56] This was criticised as sexist by former Prime Minister Helen Clark.[56]

In the final days of the general election campaign, the National Party took a slight lead over the Labour Party.[57]

2017 general election[change | change source]

In the 2017 general election held on 23 September 2017, Ardern was re-elected to her Mount Albert electorate seat by 15,264 votes.[58] Preliminary results from the general election showed that Labour received 35.79 per cent of the party vote to National's 46.03 per cent.[59][60] After more votes were counted, Labour increased its votes to 36.89% while National dropped back to 44.45%.[61] Labour gained 14 seats, increasing its parliamentary representation to 46 seats.[61] This was the best result for the party since losing power in 2008.[61]

After the election, Ardern and Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis began talks with the Greens and New Zealand First parties about forming a coalition against National Party which did not haven enough seats for a majority.[61][62][63] On 19 October 2017, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters agreed to form a coalition with Labour,[8] making Ardern the next Prime Minister.[64][65] The Green Party also supported the coalition.[66] Ardern named Peters as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.[67] She also gave New Zealand First five posts in her government, with Peters and three other ministers in her Cabinet.[67][68]

Prime Minister, 2017–present[change | change source]

First term, 2017–2020[change | change source]

Ardern after being sworn-in as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand, October 2017

Ardern was sworn-in as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy on 26 October 2017.[69] Ardern promised that her government would have empathy and be strong.[70]

Ardern became New Zealand's third female Prime Minister after Jenny Shipley (1997–1999) and Helen Clark (1999–2008).[71][72] She is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders.[73] At aged 37, Ardern is also the youngest person to become New Zealand's head of government since Edward Stafford, who became premier in 1856.[74]

On 19 January 2018, Ardern announced that she was pregnant, and that Winston Peters would become acting Prime minister for six weeks after the birth.[75] Following the birth of a daughter, she took her maternity leave from 21 June to 2 August 2018.[76][77][78]

Domestic policies[change | change source]

Ardern focused on cutting child poverty in New Zealand by half within a ten years.[79] In July 2018, Ardern announced the start of her government's flagship Families Package.[80] The package would increase paid parental leave to 26 weeks and introduced a $60 per-week universal BestStart Payment for low and middle-income families with young children.[81] In 2019, the government a school lunches pilot programme to help cut child poverty numbers.[82] She also increased welfare benefits by $25,[83] expanding free doctor's visits and giving free menstrual hygiene products in schools.[84]

Ardern in January 2018

Ardern's government added increases to the country's minimum wage over a period of time.[85][86] Her government also cancelled the National Party's planned tax cuts, saying instead it would focus on healthcare and education.[87] The first year of post-secondary education was made free on 1 January 2018 and the government agreed to increase primary teachers' pay by 12.8 (for beginning teachers) and 18.5 per cent by 2021.[88] Even thought the Labour Party campaigned on a capital gains tax for the last three elections, Ardern promised in April 2019 that the government would not pass a capital gains tax under her leadership.[89][90]

Ardern with Governor-General Patsy Reddy, May 2018

On 2 February 2018, Ardern went to Waitangi for the annual Waitangi Day commemoration and she stayed in Waitangi for five days.[91] Ardern became the first female Prime Minister to speak from the top marae.[91] Her visit was popular among Māori leaders, with commentators seeing the difference between her performance to the Prime Ministers before her.[91][92]

In September 2019, she was criticised for her handling of an allegation of sexual assault against a Labour Party staffer.[93] Ardern said she had been told the allegation did not involve sexual assault or violence before a report about the incident was published in The Spinoff on 9 September.[93] Many did not believe this as one journalist found that Ardern's claim was hard to believe.[94][95]

Ardern does not support putting people who use cannabis in prison and promised to hold a referendum on the issue.[96] A non-binding referendum to legalise cannabis was held at the same time of the 2020 general election.[97] Ardern said she used cannabis when she was young during a televised debate before the election.[97] In the referendum, voters did not support the proposed cannabis legalisation and many found that Ardern not supporting the 'yes' campaign may have caused the legalisation's defeat.[98]

Foreign policies[change | change source]

Ardern with U.S. President Donald Trump, September 2019

On 5 November 2017, Ardern made her first official trip to Australia, where she met Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the first time.[99] Relations between the two countries had not been good because of Australia's treatment of New Zealanders living in the country, and shortly before taking office.[99] Turnbull promised to work with Ardern and not have their political beliefs in the way.[100]

In November 2017, Ardern announced that the government would being part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations even though the Green Party did not support it.[101] On 25 October 2018, New Zealand ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership,[102] which Ardern had described as being better than the original TPP agreement.[103]

Ardern with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, September 2019

In December 2017, Ardern supported for a United Nations resolution criticising U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.[104]

On 24 September 2018, Ardern became the first female head of government to go to the United Nations General Assembly meeting with her baby present.[105][106] Her address to the General Assembly on 27 September had positive support from the United Nations where she talked about climate change, for the equality of women, and for kindness.[107]

In October 2018, Ardern criticized China for its Xinjiang re-education camps and human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority in the country.[108][109] Ardern was also worried about the treatment of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.[110] In November 2018, she met with Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi and offered any help New Zealand could give to solve the Rohingya crisis.[111]

On 23 September 2019, at a United Nations summit in New York City, Ardern had her first formal meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.[112] She said that Trump was interested in New Zealand's gun buyback policy.[112][113]

On 28 February 2020, Ardern criticised Australia's policy of deporting New Zealanders, many of which had lived in Australia but had not become Australian citizens.[114][115][116]

Christchurch mosque shootings[change | change source]

Ardern visited members of the Muslim community at a Community Centre near Christchurch, March 2019. This image was described by The Guardian as "an image of hope".[117][118]

On 15 March 2019, 51 people were fatally shot and 49 injured in two mosques in Christchurch.[119] In a statement broadcast on television, Ardern said that the shootings had been carried out by suspects with "extremist views" that have no place in New Zealand, or anywhere else in the world.[120] She also described it as a well-planned terrorist attack.[119]

She announced a period of national mourning and created a national condolence book that she opened in the capital, Wellington.[121] She also travelled to Christchurch to meet first responders and families of the victims.[122] In an address at the Parliament, she said that she would never say the name of the attacker: "Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them ... he will, when I speak, be nameless".[123] Ardern became popular in the country and the world for her response to the shootings.[124][125][126][127] A photograph of her hugging a member of the Christchurch Muslim community with the word "peace" in English and Arabic was projected onto the Burj Khalifa.[128] A 25-metre (82 ft) mural of this photograph was opened in May 2019.[129]

In response to the shootings, Ardern announced her government's plans to push for stricter gun laws.[130] She said that the attack had shown many weaknesses in New Zealand's gun law.[131] On 10 April 2019, less than one month after the attack, the New Zealand Parliament passed a law that bans most semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles, parts that turn guns into semiautomatic guns, and higher capacity magazines.[132]

On 15 May 2019, Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron co-chaired the Christchurch Call summit for the purpose to bring together countries and tech companies to end the ability to use social media to organise and promote terrorism and violent extremism.[133]

COVID-19 response[change | change source]

Ardern's COVID-19 restrictions caused the country to have low numbers of deaths and infected cases and even be "eliminated" in the country[134]

On 14 March 2020, Ardern announced the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand saying that the government would be requiring anyone entering the country from midnight 15 March to isolate themselves for 14 days.[135] She said the new rules will make it harder for people to travel to the country.[136] On 19 March, Ardern said that New Zealand's borders would be closed to all non-citizens and non-permanent residents, after 11:59 pm on 20 March (NZDT).[137] Ardern announced that New Zealand would move to a nationwide lockdown, at 11:59 pm on 25 March.[138]

National and international media had positive responses about her leadership and quick response to the outbreak in New Zealand.[139][140] The Washington Post said her interviews, press conferences and social media is an example of what a leader should do.[141] In mid-April 2020, two people sued Ardern and other government officials, saying that the lockdown limited their freedoms and was made for political reasons.[142] The lawsuit was dismissed.[143]

On 5 May 2020, Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced plans to create a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone that would allow residents from both countries to travel freely without travel restrictions.[144][145]

Opinion polls showed the Labour Party with nearly 60 per cent support.[146][147] In May 2020, Ardern rated 59.5 per cent as "preferred prime minister".[148][149]

2020 general election[change | change source]

In the 2020 general election, Ardern led her party to a landslide victory,[150] winning an overall majority of 65 seats in the 120-seat House of Representatives, and 50 per cent of the party vote.[151] She was also re-elected to her seat on the Mount Albert electorate by 21,246 votes.[152][153] Ardern said her landslide victory was because of her response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impacts it has had.[154]

Second term, 2020–present[change | change source]

Domestic affairs[change | change source]

Ardern with Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Governor-General Patsy Reddy, November 2020

On 2 December 2020, Ardern declared a climate change emergency in New Zealand and promised that the country would be carbon neutral by 2025 in a parliamentary motion.[155] She said that the public will be required to buy only electric or hybrid vehicles.[155] This was supported by the Labour, Green, and Māori parties but was opposed by the opposition National and ACT parties.[155][156]

In response to the housing affordability issues, Ardern proposed the removal of the interest rate tax-deduction, lifting Housing Aid for first home buyers, giving away infrastructure funds and expand the Bright Line Test from five to ten years.[157][158]

COVID-19 pandemic[change | change source]

On 12 December 2020, Prime Minister Ardern and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown announced that a travel route between New Zealand and the Cook Islands would be created in 2021.[159] It would allow a two-way quarantine-free travel between the two countries.[159] On 14 December, Prime Minister Ardern confirmed that the New Zealand and Australian Governments had agreed to create a travel route between the two countries the following year.[160] On 17 December, Ardern also announced that the government had bought two more COVID-19 vaccines from the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Novavax for New Zealand and its Pacific partners.[161]

On 26 January 2021, Ardern stated that New Zealand's borders would remain closed to most non-citizens and non-residents until New Zealand citizens have been "vaccinated and protected", a process that will not begin until mid-2021.[162]

Foreign affairs[change | change source]

Ardern delivers a speech virtually at the Singapore FinTech Festival, December 2020

In early December 2020, Ardern showed support for Australia during an issue between Canberra and Beijing over Chinese Foreign Ministry official Zhao Lijian's Twitter post saying that Australia had committed war crimes against Afghans.[163] She described the image as not being correct, adding that the New Zealand Government would raise its concerns with the Chinese Government.[163][164]

On 16 February 2021, Prime Minister Ardern criticised the Australian Government's decision to remove dual New Zealand–Australian national and ISIS bride Suhayra Aden's Australian citizenship.[165] Aden had migrated from New Zealand to Australia at the age of six and became an Australian citizen.[165] In response, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended the decision to take away Aden's citizenship, saying legislation removing dual nationals of their Australian citizenship if they were engaged in terrorist activities.[165][166][167] After a phone conversation, the two leaders agreed to work together to fix the issues Ardern had said.[168]

In response to the 2021 Israel-Palestine crisis, Ardern said on 17 May that New Zealand "condemned both the rocket fire we have seen from Hamas" and "a response that has gone well beyond self-defence on both sides".[169] She also said that Israel had the right to exist but Palestinians also had a right to a peaceful and safe home.[169]

Popularity[change | change source]

When she became Labour Party leader, Ardern had positive coverage from the media, including international medias such as CNN,[170] with many calling it the 'Jacinda effect' and 'Jacindamania'.[171][172]

Ardern with a supporter talkin a selfie, September 2017

Jacindamania was seen as an important reason behind New Zealand gaining global attention and media influence in many reports.[173] In a 2018 trip, Ardern got a large amount of media attention after delivering a speech at the United Nations in New York City.[174] Many saw her as the "cure to Trumpism".[174] Many saw her as an example against masculine politicians like U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.[175]

Ardern has been described as a celebrity politician.[176][177][178] She has become popular for her leadership following the Christchurch mosque shootings, COVID-19 pandemic and the Whakaari / White Island eruption.[179]

Ardern was one of fifteen women selected to appear on the cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, by guest editor Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.[180] Forbes magazine placed her at 38 among the 100 most powerful women in the world in 2019.[181] She was included in the 2019 Time 100 list[182] and was a candidate for Time's 2019 Person of the Year.[183] Many believed that she would win the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for her handling of the Christchurch mosque shootings.[184] In 2020, she was listed by Prospect as the second-greatest thinker for the COVID-19 era.[185] In 2021, New Zealand zoologist Steven A. Trewick named the flightless wētā species Hemiandrus jacinda in honour of Ardern.[186] A spokesperson for Ardern said that a beetle (Mecodema jacinda), a lichen, and an ant had also been named after her.[187]

In May 2021, Fortune magazine gave Ardern the top spot on their list of world’s greatest leaders, saying her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as her handling of the Christchurch mosque shootings and the 2019 Whakaari/White Island eruption.[188][189]

Political views[change | change source]

Ardern at a climate change event, January 2019

Ardern has called herself as a social democrat,[11] a progressive,[12] a republican[190] and a feminist.[191] She called former Prime Minister Helen Clark as a political hero.[11][192] She believes that the large amount of child poverty and homelessness in New Zealand is a "blatant failure" of capitalism.[193][194]

Ardern believes in removing the Māori electorates and they should be decided by Māori people.[195] She supports teaching of the Māori language in schools.[11]

In September 2017, Ardern said she wanted New Zealand to have a debate on removing the monarch of New Zealand as its head of state.[190]

Ardern has supported same-sex marriage,[196] and she voted for the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013 which legalised it.[197] In 2018, she became the first New Zealand prime minister to march in a pride parade.[198] Ardern supported legalising abortion and removing it from the Crimes Act 1961.[199][200] In March 2020, she voted for the Abortion Legislation Act that would make abortion legal.[201][202]

She described taking action on climate change as "my generation's nuclear-free moment".[203]

Ardern has also supported a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[104] She has criticised Israel over the death of Palestinians during protests at the Gaza border.[204]

Personal life[change | change source]

Ardern with Clarke Gayford in Auckland, February 2018

Ardern is a second cousin of Mayor of Whanganui Hamish McDouall.[205] She is also a distant cousin of former National MP for Taranaki-King Country Shane Ardern.[206]

Ardern's partner is television presenter Clarke Gayford.[207][208] The couple first met in 2012.[209] They did not spend time together until Gayford talked to Ardern about a controversial communications bill.[207] On 3 May 2019, it was reported that Ardern was engaged to be married to Gayford.[210][211]

On 19 January 2018, Ardern announced that she was pregnant with her first child, making her New Zealand's first prime minister to be pregnant in office.[212] On 21 June 2018, she gave birth to a girl the same day,[213][214] becoming only the second elected head of government to give birth while in office (after Benazir Bhutto in 1990).[10][214] On 24 June, Ardern revealed her daughter's name as Neve Te Aroha.[215]

Though raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LSD), Ardern left the church in 2005 because the church's views did not support her own political views.[216][217] In January 2017, Ardern said she was agnostic, saying "I can't see myself being a member of an organised religion again".[216] As prime minister in 2019, she met the President of LDS Church, Russell M. Nelson.[218]

References[change | change source]

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