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NZ welcomes its first dragon baby

By APN News & Media

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Jessica Li Wishart is only 3 days old but the Tauranga baby has no idea how much hype she has caused simply by being born.

She is thought to be the first Chinese baby born in the Chinese New Year in New Zealand.

Jessica Li, whose mother Ping is Chinese and dad Ian European, was born at Auckland City Hospital at 4.57am on Monday - a few hours into the Year of the Dragon New Zealand time.

Her arrival also came just minutes before those in China were counting down to their midnight.

The dragon is the mightiest of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs and people born in the Year of the Dragon are said to be driven, independent and lucky people destined for success.

Ping Wishart, originally from Guangzhou in southern China, is thrilled to have had a dragon baby.

"In China, a dragon baby is very lucky. It's very good to have a baby born this year," she said.

"When I was in labour, I was looking at the clock, because people in China would have been celebrating."

Ping and Ian Wishart are from Tauranga and had travelled to Auckland for Chinese New Year celebrations.

The couple had not been expecting Mrs Wishart to go into labour as their little girl was due to arrive on St Valentine's Day. However, they were in for a shock. She went into labour on Sunday night.

Mrs Wishart's mother had been scheduled to fly over to New Zealand from China early next month in time for her first granddaughter's birth.

Mrs Wishart said: "My mother said, 'Oh, why did you have her early? I said, 'She couldn't wait'."

Proud father Ian, an architectural designer, said he and his wife had not planned to have a child to coincide with the Year of the Dragon. "We just wanted to start a family, and she's the perfect start."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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