Well-wishes flow as PM goes into labour

By Jessica Tyson, Talisa Kupenga

MPs are sending their best wishes to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who arrived at hospital this morning to deliver her baby.

Labour Māori Caucus co-chair and minister Meka Whaitiri says, "This moment is incredibly exciting for all Kiwis.  Both myself and the wider Labour Māori Caucus look forward to welcoming te mokopuna o te motu."

Meanwhile Labour minister Peeni Henare says, "E whakamahana mātou i te whare mō te taenga mai o Pepi. Ko ngā whakaaro nui a te waahi ngaro ki runga i a rāua tahi."

Green Party co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw also sent their best wishes.

“I am thinking of Jacinda with so much excitement as she approaches giving birth for the first time,” says Davidson. 

“Her and Clarke have my best wishes for this special experience.” 

James Shaw added, “This is an exciting time for Jacinda and Clarke and a historic moment for our country,” in reference to the fact that Ardern is New Zealand’s first prime minister to give birth while in office.

Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford arrived at Auckland hospital at 5:50am this morning. Gayford drove Ardern in their own car as planned.

The reins of power are now officially in the hands of Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters who says his office was advised of Arden's arrival to the hospital earlier this morning.

“It’s a happy day and on behalf of the coalition government we wish her and Clarke all the very best,” says Peters. 

New Zealand First MP Ron Mark says, “My thoughts are with her and Clarke at this very exciting time.  My partner Chris and I wish them all the best as they enter a new chapter of their lives.”

Ardern’s due date was June 17 but she said last week if baby did not arrive on time she could be medically induced. She is expected to take leave for 6 weeks.

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