The attractive meaning behind the NZ Prime Minister's new baby name

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford

"Maybe you've all had a calming effect as she's finally gone to sleep", says Ardern, as she fronted a media scrum as the anxious sound of camera shutters fluttered in the background.

Niamh, as it is traditionally spelled, is a name from old Irish mythology, meaning radiance or brightness, but the new parents chose to go with the simpler, modern spelling to avoid a lifetime of people tripping up over it. Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford are all smiles with little Neve.

Her second name, Te Aroha, which means "love" in Te Reo Maori, one of the country's national languages, was a nod to the many Maori iwi, or tribes, that had offered names as a gift to Ardern while she was pregnant.

"We're not placing any great expectations on this little baby except for happiness and love", she said.

"Hopefully these things, in these moments, for lack of a better word are novelty, but perhaps one day they won't be", she said of giving birth in office as prime minister.

"I think every new parent would probably reflect that", she said.

Ms Ardern said "the moment happened so quickly".

Ms Ardern left Auckland City Hospital this morning with partner Clarke Gayford by her side.

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Ms Ardern spoke briefly to reporters today before heading home, revealing her and her partner Clarke Gayford had named their daughter Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford.

"Baby slept a lot more last night ... but the PM admits she didn't sleep much while baby slept which is probably because she is still very excited about everything".

Ardern, who was elected leader of New Zealand's Labour Party in September 2017 before being elected prime minster, plans on taking six weeks of maternity leave.

"Like everyone we went through the struggle for a matter of months and we kept a shortlist of names and wanted to wait until the baby arrived", Ms Ardern said.

"It's just something really lovely in a world where so much is unfair that we're all very excited about it", said Frances Gerbic, a music teacher living in Auckland.

Mr Gayford, a 40-year-old television presenter, will be the child's primary carer once Ms Ardern returns to parliament.

Ardern is just the second elected world leader to give birth while holding office.

Ardern announced Neve's birth on her official Instagram account Thursday, saying the baby arrived at 4.45 pm local time, weighing 3.31 kilograms (7.3 pounds). "So, I'm dying to see it and hold her and just see what's she's like".

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