Clarke Gayford, the partner of new Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, has been underwater filming all day off the Sunshine Coast in Queensland - and not spoken to her.

"I was literally underwater today when it all went down," Gayford told the Herald tonight, moments after his boat returned to shore.

"No one had a true inkling of how today was going to unfold."

Gayford said it had been an unusual day, filming for his television show, Fish of the Day, and he had still not spoken with Jacinda, who had sent a couple of messages.


And with his partner flat out with media interviews and "no chance to breathe", he did not know when the pair would talk.

"I felt very anxious for her today and hated not being there. I know how much she thinks about everything. She worries, but she thinks everything through and is a good problem-solver," Gayford said.

He said the trip to the Gold Coast had been planned for more than a year and he would be away for a couple more weeks.

Asked if he thought things would be different now that Jacinda was leader of Labour, Gayford said she had already been flat out as deputy leader and that would not change.

Earlier this evening Gayford tweeted from the Sunshine Coast, posing on a boat in a wetsuit: "I miss anything?"

Gayford, who lives with Ardern in her Mt Albert electorate, is a mad keen fisherman, one of the original presenters of free-to-air music channel C4, he's hosted the More FM drive shift and the George FM breakfast slot, fronted television travel show Getaway, filled in on Seven Sharp and is an occasional guest on Radio New Zealand's The Panel.