Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, speaks during an event. (Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg)

Peters Is Acting New Zealand PM as Ardern Prepares to Give Birth

(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has gone to hospital to give birth to her first child, relinquishing her duties to deputy Winston Peters.

“Jacinda Ardern has arrived at Auckland hospital, with her partner Clarke Gayford, to have her baby,” Ardern’s office said in a statement issued shortly after 6 a.m. local time on Thursday. “Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is now Acting Prime Minister.”

Ardern, 37, will become just the second world leader to give birth while in office after former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto. While her pregnancy has generated considerable interest both in New Zealand and abroad, Ardern has played down the event, saying she is not the first working woman to have a baby.

She intends to return to work in about six weeks.

Peters, a 73-year-old political veteran, is the leader of Ardern’s coalition partner, New Zealand First.

“Earlier this morning my office was advised the Prime Minister was being admitted to hospital in preparation for the birth of her child,” Peters said in a statement. “It’s a happy day and on behalf of the coalition government we wish her and Clarke all the very best.”

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