New Zealand minister cycles to hospital to give birth

New Zealand’s minister for women and associate minister for health and transport, Ms Julie Anne Genter, cycled to a hospital to give birth on Aug 9, 2018.
New Zealand’s minister for women and associate minister for health and transport, Ms Julie Anne Genter, cycled to a hospital to give birth on Aug 9, 2018.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/JULIEANNGENTER

WELLINGTON (NYTIMES) - Since taking office, New Zealand's prime minister has broken boundaries and made headlines by becoming only the second sitting world leader to give birth, taking six weeks of parental leave and returning to her leadership role with a baby in tow and nary a fuss.

Now comes the New Zealand minister who cycled to a hospital on Sunday (Aug 19) to give birth.

Ms Julie Anne Genter, minister for women and associate minister for health and transport, posted photographs on social media of her "mostly downhill" trip to the hospital while at full term.

She was due to have labour induced at Auckland City Hospital, and is expected to become the second New Zealand government minister to deliver a baby this year, after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Ms Genter, 38, noted on social media on Aug 10 that she was "40 weeks + 4 days" pregnant, and "still waiting" to give birth. She plans to take three months of parental leave after the birth of the child, her first.

She said on social media that it was a "beautiful Sunday morning for a bike ride," and that she and her partner, Peter Nunns, had cycled to the hospital because there was not "enough room in the car for the support crew".

She added on Instagram: "It also put me in the best possible mood!"

Auckland City Hospital, where Ms Genter is to give birth, is also where Ms Ardern delivered her first child, Neve Gayford, in June. The prime minister, 38, returned to work this month.

 

Ms Benazir Bhutto, then Pakistan's prime minister, became the first world leader to give birth in office when she had her second child, a daughter, in 1990.

During New Zealand's election last year - which brought the center-left Labour Party, led by Ms Ardern, to power - at least five lawmakers were parents of children less than one year old. That prompted an attempt by Parliament to make the legislative complex more family friendly.

A ban on children in the parliamentary swimming pool was lifted, a weekly parent-and-child swimming session was instated, and plans are underway to build a playground on the front lawn.