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New Zealand's former PM Jacinda Ardern ties the knot with partner Clarke Gayford | SEE PICS

Ardern was 37 when she became New Zealand's Prime Minister and became a global icon for the Left during his tenure from 2017 to 2023. She was praised for her handling of a mass shooting in 2019 but her strict COVID-19 guidelines drew flak from some New Zealanders.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Wellington Updated on: January 13, 2024 16:45 IST
Former New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern married her partner
Image Source : REUTERS Former New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern married her partner Clarke Gayford. They have a five-year-old daughter.

Wellington: New Zealand's former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Saturday married her long-time partner Clarke Gayford in a private ceremony after almost five years of engagement and delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closed ceremony is reported to have been staged at a luxury vineyard in the Hawke's Bay region, 325 km from the capital Wellington.

As per reports, only family, close friends and a few of the 43-year-old Ardern's former lawmaker colleagues were invited, including Ardern's successor and former prime minister Chris Hipkins. Ardern and Gayford (47) got engaged in May 2019 and were meant to be married in early 2022, but the ceremony was cancelled due to her “go hard, go early” approach to the pandemic that helped limit the number of COVID-related deaths low.

Official photos showed a smiling Ardern wearing a white halter-neck dress, while Gayford wore a black suit. They tied the knot in front of some 50 to 75 guests at Hawke’s Bay, home to a number of internationally known wineries and known as an important horticultural area. The couple’s five-year-old daughter, Neve, walked down the aisle with her father, an Ardern spokesperson said by email.

In her final speech in parliament, Ardern told Gayford, a New Zealand television presenter, "Let’s finally get married.” She has been undertaking three fellowships at Harvard University for the past six months.

Pictures of Ardern and Gayford's marriage

India Tv - New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, marriage, Clarke Gayford

Image Source : APJacinda Ardern with her partner Clarke Gayford

India Tv - New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, Marriage, Clarke Gayford

Image Source : APNew Zealand ex-PM got married in a private ceremony.

India Tv - New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, Clarke Gayford

Image Source : XArdern with her husband at the wedding venue.

Ardern's tenure as New Zealand PM

Ardern was 37 when she became New Zealand's Prime Minister, quickly becoming a global icon for left-leaning politics and women in leadership as prime minister from 2017 to January last year. She was praised around the world for her handling of the nation's worst-ever mass shooting and the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2018, Ardern became just the second elected world leader to give birth while holding office. Later that year, she brought her infant daughter to the floor of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Ardern and Gayford reportedly began dating in 2014 and were engaged five years later, but due to Ardern's government's strict COVID-19 restrictions that reduced gatherings to 100 people, the wedding for 2022 was postponed. "Such is life," she said at that time.

The former PM's COVID-19 policies prompted several rallies during her final year as prime minister. It also led to a level of vitriol from some that hadn't been experienced by previous New Zealand leaders. In January 2023, Ardern shocked people when she said she was stepping down after five-and-a-half years as prime minister because she no longer had “enough in the tank” to do the job justice in an election year.

Since then, Ardern announced she would temporarily join Harvard University after being appointed to dual fellowships at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has also taken an unpaid role in combating online extremism. She was also made a Dame Grand Companion, meaning people will now call her Dame Jacinda Ardern. This is New Zealand's highest honours given to Ardern for her role in tackling a mass shooting and pandemic.

Meanwhile, small group of protesters who had plastered a wall with dozens of anti-vaccination posters outside the venue met with police. One protester was also seen holding a sign that read, "Lest we forget jab mandates," on the outskirts of the property.


(with inputs from Reuters, AP)

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