Topic: Politics

PM's baby will speak Māori and English

By Oriini Kaipara

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says her baby, Neve Te Aroha, will be raised speaking both Māori and English.

“I certainly want her to learn Māori.  We haven’t just made that decision though about how that will happen.”

“It's an official language.  It builds our understanding of Māori culture as well.  For me, language is what sits at the heart of that.”

Ardern spoke to Native Affairs at the home she shares with partner Clarke Gayford.  This week she started back on the job after spending six weeks on maternity leave.

She says Neve Te Aroha won’t be the only one in their household on a te reo Māori journey.

“I actually had ambitions of doing that while I was on leave so, yeah, that’s still a project for us.”

She says it was an easy decision to give her daughter a Māori name.

“We would somehow reflect in Neve’s name the generosity and kindness that was being shown to her, particularly on marae.  Te Aroha, we thought, captured that and also at the same time captured my turangawaewae as well.”