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Obligatory PM baby news

Daughter born to Prime Minister

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a baby daughter on the afternoon of Thursday 21 June, shortly before a small earthquake (4.0, centred near Turangi) was felt in Wellington ahead of the launch of The Wellington App and the Loemis solstice ritual.

The events are believed to be unconnected.

The main conduit for the news was a social media post from the baby’s father Clarke Gayford with the photo above, and the message, “So happy to announce our little girl has finally arrived! Everyone healthy and happy. 7.3lb, 4.45pm. Huge thanks to all involved, what a team.”

The term “lb” stands for pounds (derived from the ancient Roman unit of measure libra pondo, meaning “a pound by weight”), a hangover from the imperial measurement system supposedly abandoned for metrication by New Zealand in 1971.

The use of pounds and ounces (oz) when describing the weight of babies is probably the most persistent use of imperial measurement in New Zealand, though it is still widely used when describing people’s heights, big-screen TVs, suburban sections and penis lengths.

It also continues to be used in songs for which the word “miles” is a much more evocative term than “kilometres” or “Ks”.

The winter solstice baby shares a birthday with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and with former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the first woman world leader in modern times to have a baby in office, in 1990.

No indication has been given by Jacinda Ardern or Clarke Gayford regarding possible first names for their daughter, or whether she will take both of their surnames.

Options for a first name may include Ardern’s middle names Kate and Laurell, the latter her mother’s first name.  Other options could be found in the names of her paternal grandmother, Gladys Marjorie, or maternal grandmother Lauraine Margaret Elizabeth.

The parents and baby will be making no public appearance today.

Update: The name has been announced as Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford