New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern engaged to Clarke Gayford

  • Published
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford pose with their baby daughter Neve GayfordImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Ms Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford are now engaged

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is engaged to her long-term partner, television presenter Clarke Gayford, a spokesman has confirmed.

News of the couple's engagement emerged after Ms Ardern was seen at a ceremony on Friday wearing a diamond ring on the middle finger of her left hand.

A hawk-eyed journalism intern spied the new addition and asked the prime minister's office about it.

Her spokesman then confirmed that the pair got engaged over Easter.

Earlier this January, Ms Ardern was asked by the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire if she would ever propose to Mr Gayford.

"No I would not ask, no. I want to put him through the pain and torture of having to agonise about that question himself," she said.

Ms Ardern was the second world leader to give birth while in office. The first was the late Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's two-time prime minister.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The couple have one child together, a baby girl named Neve Te Aroha

She said at the time that Mr Gayford would assume the role of a stay-at-home dad.

"I'm very, very lucky," she told Radio NZ.

"I have a partner who can be there alongside me, who's taking up a huge part of that joint responsibility because he's a parent too, he's not a babysitter."

According to local media outlets, Ms Ardern and Mr Gayford first met at an awards event in 2012.

Media caption,
Jacinda Ardern: 'It takes strength to be an empathetic leader'