Jacinda Ardern’s fiancé has paid tribute to his ‘not quite wife’ at the launch of her election campaign.
Clarke Gayford, 43, delivered a heartwarming speech about the ‘world’s most eloquent leader’ on Saturday afternoon in front of supporters at Auckland Town Hall.
He amusingly named himself the ‘plus one’ and shared a touching tribute to Ms Ardern, 40, revealing one of her annoying habits before welcoming her to the stage.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, left, is welcomed on stage by her partner Clarke Gayford at the Labour Party campaign launch in Auckland on Saturday
Mr Gayford revealed his partner’s very annoying habit of hiding the chocolate from him
‘It gives me an enormous sense of family pride to introduce you guys to the best job applicant for prime minister that this country has ever produced, in my humble opinion,’ Mr Gayford said.
‘And although she might hide chocolates from her partner, she easily wins the favourite parent award from Neve Te Aroha each and every evening.
‘Please welcome to the stage, my not-quite wife, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda,’ he said with a huge smile on his face.
The crowd erupted into applause as Ms Ardern and Mr Gayford shared a brief kiss on the cheek and embraced.
A laughing Ms Ardern joined her partner on stage at the Labour Party’s campaign launch
Ms Ardern took the stage three years after being sworn in, ready to fight for a second term as New Zealand’s prime minister
Ms Ardern took the stage three years after being sworn in, ready to fight for a second term as New Zealand’s prime minister.
‘If you had told me then that our launch in 2020 would be in the midst of a global pandemic with our borders closed I would have found that very hard to fathom,’ she said.
‘If you’d told me that Clarke and I would have a toddler, I wouldn’t have believed we would have been so lucky.
‘And if you’d told me that we would have just completed a term in government with both New Zealand First and the Greens, I’d assume you’d been watching excessive amounts of Stranger Things.
‘And yet here we are.’
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern,her partner Clarke Gayford, and their daughter Neve back in June 2019
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (2nd L) and Deputy Prime Minister Kelvin Davis (L) attend the launch of the Labour Party’s election campaign in Auckland on Saturday
The centrepiece promise of Saturday’s campaign launch was another new scheme to support employment; a $NZ311 million ($A287 million) pledge to underwrite 40,000 jobs.
The popular prime minister thanked New Zealanders for their support over the past three years and listed her government’s achievements.
However, she said ‘more needs to be done’ showing that she is ready to stand by the people of New Zealand as she already done so.
‘It’s the very reason why this is election is more important than ever,’ Ms Ardern said.
‘It’s about the future. It’s about leadership and it’s about values. It’s about whether we stop and change to another team, or whether we keep those we know and we trust.
‘Now, more than ever, is the time to keep going, to keep working. To do more for our people and their wellbeing, for our small businesses, for our economy and our recovery.
‘So let’s keep going. Let’s keep rebuilding. Let’s keep moving.’
Ms Ardern confirmed her engagement to her Mr Gayford in May 2019 after she was spotted wearing a ring on her left hand (pictured on her 40th birthday)
The couple’s engagement came almost a year after the birth of their first child Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford in June 2018
Ms Ardern confirmed her engagement to her Mr Gayford in May 2019 after she was spotted wearing a ring on her left hand.
Their engagement came almost a year after the birth of their first child Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford in June 2018.
Mr Gayford, a well known broadcaster who hosted a fishing show called Fish of the Day, took a step back from his career to care for the couple’s daughter.
Ms Ardern and Mr Gayford first met at an awards event in 2012 but did not start dating until 2013 when a constituency issue brought them together, Stuff reported.
Mr Gayford was upset about the potential loss of privacy proposed by the Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment Bill.
He first went to local MP, Nikki Kaye, but got no response.
He then wrote to Ms Ardern and the two met for coffee and bonded over a shared interest in music.
Ms Ardern has previously spoken out about their wedding plans, saying neither her or Mr Gayford had a particular stance on marriage.
‘I predict we will one day. We happen to have done things in reverse a little bit, but that happens in life sometimes too,’ she told RNZ.
Ms Ardern with her fiance Clarke Gayford and their daughter Neve
Who is Jacinda Ardern?
Born on July 26, 1980 in Hamilton, Jacinda Ardern is the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand.
She has been the Labour leader since August 2017, having been appointed to the party’s top job just weeks out from a general election.
She graduated from the University of Waikato in 2001 with a degree in politics and public relations
After graduating, she volunteered at a soup kitchen in New York before moving to London to work as a policy adviser to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
She entered parliament as a list MP in 2008, becoming the youngest sitting representative.
Ms Ardern became deputy leader of the Labour party in March 2017.
In October 2017 she formed a coalition with New Zealand First and the Green party to become New Zealand’s third woman Prime Minister.
She was the second world leader ever to have a baby in office when her daughter Neve was born in June 2018.
When not in the capital city, she lives with her boyfriend, TV presenter Clarke Gayford, 41, in Auckland.