News NZ PM hands out flowers in maternity ward ahead of departure

NZ PM hands out flowers in maternity ward ahead of departure

Jacinda Ardern poses with partner Clarke Gayford and their baby daughter. Photo: Instagram
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After being overwhelmed by flowers and gifts of congratulations from around the world after the birth of her baby daughter, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has decided to share her bounty with other new mothers on the maternity ward.

As Ms Ardern, 37, continues her recovery following the arrival of her 3.31-kilogram daughter on Thursday at 4.45pm at Auckland City Hospital, well wishes from other world leaders have continued to pour in.

Her office confirmed on Saturday she had been overwhelmed by one enormous bunch of flowers assembled in a massive gold pot sent on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

“The flowers were an incredibly generous gift, but are unfortunately too big to fit into her room,” a spokesperson said.

“As such she chosen to share them with all the mothers and families on the maternity ward floor by putting them on the reception.”

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern flowers
The flower arrangement was so big it had to be wheeled into the maternity ward in a wheelchair. Photo: AAP

According to the NZ Herald, the flowers were sent from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and included gerberas, orchids, peonies, proteas, lilies and greenery assembled in a gold pot.

The newspaper reported that because of the size of the arrangement, the flowers had to be wheeled into the ward.

After the birth on Thursday afternoon, and spending her first night feeding ‘one hungry baby’, Ms Ardern cancelled a planned Friday media appearance.

Instead, the family – including first dad Clarke Gayford – spent most of the day privately.

Meanwhile, congratulations had also arrived from Japan’s prime minister and the Commonwealth Secretariat. Other world leaders to send their regards since the birth have included the Queen, UK prime minister Theresa May, Malcolm Turnbull and Justin Trudeau of Canada.

New Zealand’s first family are now expected to make their first public appearance on Sunday morning at 9am (11am local time), when they depart hospital and head home for time out of the spotlight.

Reporters have been gathering at the public Auckland Hospital since Ms Ardern arrived there on Thursday morning, driven by partner Clarke Gayford.

Her staff have been keeping media informed about the baby’s progress.

There hasn’t yet been any word on the baby’s name or what surname the baby will have, although Ms Ardern hinted at trying to “sneak in” her surname.

Ms Ardern has become the first elected world leader to take maternity leave and for the next six weeks will only be consulting on major issues while her deputy, Winston Peters, handles day-to-day matters.

Shortly after the birth, Ms Ardern shared a photo of her and Mr Gayford with their daughter on Instagram. She captioned the image: “Welcome to our village wee one.”