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  1. ITV Report

New Zealand new prime minister Jacinda Ardern announces pregnancy

New Zealand's recently elected prime minister has announced that she is pregnant.

Jacinda Ardern became one of the world's youngest female heads of government when she was elected in October last year aged 37.

Announcing the news on Friday, Ms Ardern joked that she thought 2017 had been a "big year".

The prime minister is set to take six weeks of maternity leave while her husband, Clarke Gayford, will become a stay-at-home dad.

Deputy prime minister Winston Peters will stand in for his boss during the six-week period.

Ms Ardern with her partner Clarke Gayford. Credit: AP

Taking to Twitter, Ms Ardern said: We thought 2017 was a big year! This year we'll join the many parents who wear two hats.

"I'll be PM & a mum while Clarke will be 'first man of fishing' & stay at home dad."

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In a later statement, she said: "I fully intend to be contactable and available throughout the six-week period when needed.

"I will make arrangements for appropriate ministers to act in my other portfolios over the six weeks I am away from Parliament."

After the six weeks, she will resume all her prime ministerial duties.

"Clarke and I are privileged to be in the position where Clarke can stay home to be our primary care-giver," she continued.

"Knowing that so many parents juggle the care of their new babies, we consider ourselves to be very lucky.

"Clarke and I have always been clear we wanted to be parents but had been told we would need help for that to happen. That's made this news a fantastic surprise."

The couple discovered she was pregnant on October 13 - two weeks before she was sworn in as national leader.