She might just be the only baby in New Zealand to have received gifts from admirers as varied as our future King, a Cuban ambassador, the president of Estonia, and the mayor and councillors of a sparsely-populated North Island district.

Wee Neve Gayford celebrated her first birthday on Friday, and what a year it was, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's bundle of joy making headlines worldwide, inspiring music, art and a children's book, and sparking smiles from the United Nations General Assembly in New York to the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi.

It was also a year of gifts for the country's most famous baby.

Prime MInister Jacinda Ardern with her fiance Clarke Gayford with baby Neve in August last year. File photo / Supplied
Prime MInister Jacinda Ardern with her fiance Clarke Gayford with baby Neve in August last year. File photo / Supplied

They came to her mum from all corners of the globe, from booties to moccasins, from rattles to bracelets, and from soft toy pigs on the Lunar New Year to a miniature Cronulla Sharks shirt on the eve of the NRL season.

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The Duke of Cambridge's gift for baby Neve — a buzzy bee with an engraved plaque underneath — drew parallels to his own links with the beloved Kiwi toy, when he was photographed aged 9 months playing with a buzzy bee on the lawn of Government House in Auckland, during the 1983 Royal Tour.

On Friday, Neve's father, Clarke Gayford, tweeted a sweet thank you to the prince, noting the future King and the first baby shared a birthday.

"Happy Birthday Prince William, what a great shared birthday (I'm pretty sure you win with this)," Gayford wrote, after noting he was torn between letting Neve "continue to maul this amazing gift or putting it somewhere safe FOREVER".

The buzzy bee was among dozens of baby gifts the Prime Minister received, in her official capacity and from royalty and heads of state, throughout her baby daughter's first year.

New Zealand gave Prince William a buzzy bee toy when he visited New Zealand in 1983 - and the Duke of Cambridge returned the favour, giving the same gift back to baby Neve. Photo / NZH Archive
New Zealand gave Prince William a buzzy bee toy when he visited New Zealand in 1983 - and the Duke of Cambridge returned the favour, giving the same gift back to baby Neve. Photo / NZH Archive

A list of the gifts was given to the Herald on Sunday under the Official Information Act, but a request for information on gifts given directly to Neve or her father, Clarke Gayford, before or since the baby's birth was not released because it is not subject to the act.

Gifts received in Ardern's capacity as leader of the Labour Party, such as any from ministerial colleagues or leaders of other political parties, were also treated as "gifts of a personal nature" and not disclosed. National leader Simon Bridges said he did not send the Prime Minister a gift when Neve was born.

The Australians, Chinese and British were the most prolific gift-givers, with three gifts or gift sets from representatives of each, while Japanese parliamentarian Shinjiro Koizumi, who visited New Zealand as the 2018 Prime Minister's fellow, arrived with a hoard of goodies, including daruma dolls, a cat figurine, bib and soft toy.

Little Neve's arrival was met with a generous response from a broad range of nations.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with a miniature Cronulla Sharks jersey given as a gift to her daughter Neve by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. File photo / Audrey Young
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with a miniature Cronulla Sharks jersey given as a gift to her daughter Neve by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. File photo / Audrey Young
British PM Theresa May gave her Kiwi counterpart this No10 onesie, along with a Peter Rabbit onesie and books, following Neve Gayford's birth last year. Photo / Supplied
British PM Theresa May gave her Kiwi counterpart this No10 onesie, along with a Peter Rabbit onesie and books, following Neve Gayford's birth last year. Photo / Supplied

The Saudi Arabians gave a Whitehill silver photo frame, Neve was promised toasty toes thanks to hand-knitted booties from the Norwegian Prime Minister and South Korean President Moon Jae-in gifted the baby a traditional Korean hanbok dress.

Clothes were a popular choice, with Neve receiving an array of booties, onesies and dresses, but St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet's gift of a rasta hat prompted a delighted Gayford to tweet his appreciation.

"Neve's received a steady trickle of sweet gifts from a huge variety of world leaders, which I would mostly describe as safe and traditional. That was until this just turned up from the PM of St Lucia! ... Yes Mon!!"

Focus: Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford celebrates her first birthday.
St. Lucia's Prime Minister Allen Chastanet sticks to suit and tie himself, but sent a rasta hat to baby Neve following her birth last year. Photo / AP /Martin Meissner
St. Lucia's Prime Minister Allen Chastanet sticks to suit and tie himself, but sent a rasta hat to baby Neve following her birth last year. Photo / AP /Martin Meissner

Ardern couldn't be contacted for comment, but the response to the Herald on Sunday noted she had kept all of the gifts, except where the gift was a donation to another organisation.

Two councils and Far North deputy mayor Tania McInnes also marked Neve's arrival with gifts.

McInnes' gift of hand-knitted booties bought from a rural Canterbury shop was noted as an official gift, but was actually a personal one, McInnes said.

"I just wanted to acknowledge something incredibly special."

Tararua Mayor Tracey Collis, second from left, pictured with councillors and community members, with locally-made socks gifted to baby Neve and her parents last year. File photo / Christine McKay
Tararua Mayor Tracey Collis, second from left, pictured with councillors and community members, with locally-made socks gifted to baby Neve and her parents last year. File photo / Christine McKay

Masterton District Council made a donation to children's charity KidsCan, while Tararua District Council gave all three members of the family socks from Norsewood-based Kiwi Sock Company.

Mayor Tracey Collis said the donated socks — red for Ardern, green for Gayford and beige with a love heart for Neve — had melted even the toughest hearts when she showed them to her council before they were whisked to the new family.

"Everybody was really excited ... I think it's because we all felt part of the journey, right from the announcement with the fish hooks. As a nation we felt part of it."

Baby Neve's goody bag: A year in gifts for the first baby of New Zealand

Silver lock/pair silver bracelets, from Chinese ambassador to New Zealand Wu Xi

Three soft toy pigs and an artwork (for the Lunar New Year), from Chinese ambassador to New Zealand Wu Xi

Socks/babysuit, from US ambassador-designate to New Zealand Scott Brown and his partner

Baby dress, from Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Hand-woven basket, from Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews

Children's books, from Guangdong Province party secretary Li Xi

Large daruma doll, small daruma doll, kendama toy, cat figurine, bib and soft toy, from Japanese Prime Minister's fellow Shinjiro Koizumi

Books and toys, from Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid

Whitehill silver photo frame, from Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia charge d'Affaires Saleh Al Nuaiser

Turtle and dolphin soft toys, from Cuban ambassador to New Zealand Mario Alzugaray Rodriguez

Rasta knitted hat and ball with bell inside, from St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

Hanbok dress, from South Korean president Moon Jae-in

Hand-knitted booties, from Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg

Bowl, tapa, bilum and baskets, from Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Secretary-General Dame Meg Taylor

No 10 Downing St and Peter Rabbit onesies, books, from British Prime Minister Theresa May

Buzzy Bee, from Prince William

Ugg boots and miniature Cronulla Sharks shirt, from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

RM Williams boots, from Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Leather moccasins, books, mohair blanket, from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Donation to KidsCan, from Masterton District Council

Kiwi Sock Company socks for mum, dad and baby, from Tararua District Council

Booties, from Far North deputy mayor Tania McInnes

Alphabet set and sleepsuit, from Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David Gascoigne

Rattle, from Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Source: Office of the Prime Minister

What's in a name?

Neve Gayford matches the meaning of her name - radiant - in a bright yellow coat at an outing with parents Clarke Gayford and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / Phil Walter / Getty Images
Neve Gayford matches the meaning of her name - radiant - in a bright yellow coat at an outing with parents Clarke Gayford and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / Phil Walter / Getty Images

The birth of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's baby Neve may have contributed to the popularity of the name inching up slightly.

But, her mother's high profile around the world wasn't reflected in the names Kiwi parents were giving their newborns, figures showed.

No babies had been named Jacinda since September 23 last year, itself a year after the 2017 election which eventually saw Ardern become New Zealand's 40th Prime Minister, according to Department of Internal Affairs records.

Fewer than 10 babies were named Jacinda in either the first year of the 38-year-old's leadership, or the year before.

Exact numbers are not given if between 1 and 10 babies are given a name, in order to protect the privacy of those children.

More babies were named Simon, the first name of National leader Simon Bridges, than Jacinda - the first name of the Prime Minister - in the last 9 months, but just barely. File photo / Mark Mitchell
More babies were named Simon, the first name of National leader Simon Bridges, than Jacinda - the first name of the Prime Minister - in the last 9 months, but just barely. File photo / Mark Mitchell

Baby Neve may have fared better at influencing Kiwi parents than her parents.

While fewer than 10 babies were given the first baby's middle name of Te Aroha in the year before or since her birth, over the same period for her first name there was a slight increase.

In the year before the little girl's birth 10 babies were named Neve.

In the year since, the name — the Anglicised version of Irish name Niamh, and which means radiant — has been chosen 13 times, the records show.

The first name of the Prime Minister's fiance, TV host Clarke Gayford, also hasn't sparked fierce interest from new mums and dads. Fewer than 10 babies were given the name each year, or part-year, since September 2016.

Over the same three periods the first name of Ardern's main political rival, National Party leader Simon Bridges, also proved unpopular, with 11 babies named Simon between September 2016 and September 2017, and fewer than 10 the following year and in the past nine months. Bridges was chosen as leader of the party in February last year.

Around 60,000 live births are recorded in New Zealand each year.