New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern returns from leave to strong poll rating

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, holding her newborn baby Neve, poses with her partner Clarke Gayford for a family photo in New Zealand, on Aug 1, 2018.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, holding her newborn baby Neve, poses with her partner Clarke Gayford for a family photo in New Zealand, on Aug 1, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WELLINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Support for New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's government remains strong despite a six-week absence after the birth of her daughter, a new poll shows.

Ardern's Labour Party had 42 per cent support in a poll published by Television New Zealand on Sunday (Aug 5), down just one percentage point from the previous survey.

With coalition partner New Zealand First on 5 per cent and support party the Greens on 6 per cent, the government remains comfortably ahead of the opposition National Party, which was unchanged on 45 per cent, even though it is the largest-polling party.

The world's youngest female leader, Ardern, 38, went on maternity leave in June after the arrival of her first child, Neve.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters was Acting Prime Minister while she was away.

Ardern remains the clear leader in terms of most-preferred prime minister, the TVNZ poll showed. She had 40 per cent support compared with 10 per cent for National leader Simon Bridges and 5 per cent for Peters.