Over the next few weeks expect a lot of Ardern baby talk as the country prepares for the First Baby.

It's due on June the 17th but with the way she's feeling the Prime Minister acknowledges she may not make it to that date, it could be any day now.

Fear not the country's most experienced politician and arguably the shrewdest operator Winston Peters is waiting in the wings, stepping up to the plate that he himself reckons could have been his more than quarter of a century ago if he'd played his cards right.

Ardern's giving herself six weeks maternity leave before returning to the Beehive's ninth floor and claims she'll be reading her usual load of papers while she's at home with the baby.


The first part's conceivable and second part's impossible, although the last and only other Prime Minister to give birth in office, Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto set the bar high.

Back in 1988 Pakistan's President announced his country's first election in almost a decade, knowing the then pregnant Bhutto would find campaigning tough, if not impossible.

Her campaign schedule was interrupted momentarily when her son, now a politician himself, was born four weeks early. Her win showed that voters were comfortable with a new mother running their country.

As Prime Minister she became pregnant again a couple of years later and refusing to tell her opponents of the birth date, fearing she'd be overthrown, she travelled incognito to a hospital, had a Caesarean section, and the next day was back on the job.

An old mate of mine Simon Walker, of Muldoon television interview fame, went to Oxford with Benazir Bhutto with both serving as former Presidents of the Oxford Union.

Walker described her as a lively, gregarious and an immensely popular person saying she was a real bridge between Islam and the West.

Unfortunately after living in exile for almost a decade Bhutto returned to Pakistan in 2007 to run for office again the following year, but within two months she was assassinated.

It's impossible to compare the volatile Pakistan with this country and to compare the two Prime Ministers is equally impossible.


But what the example of Bhutto shows is that against all the adversity she faced, anything is possible and the strength and determination of this woman was above and beyond what any of us would be capable of.

It puts into some perspective how much easier it is for a woman leader in 2018 to have a baby in office and that's not to diminish that history is being made for the second time.