Breaking news on CNN: "New Zealand's Prime Minister gives birth to a baby girl". That strapline across the world's television screens yesterday evening will have warmed the hearts of all New Zealanders.

It is a wonderful moment for the young couple the country has come to know. The pleasure they will be feeling this morning is understood by everybody who has been a parent and everybody who has seen the pleasure of new parents. Which means everybody.

But it is a wonderful moment for this country too, a demonstration of what is possible here. A woman young enough to have her first baby is Prime Minister of this country. It is almost unprecedented, remarkable enough to attract attention around the world.

"Welcome to our village wee one," Jacinda Ardern wrote on Instagram by way of announcing her news. It was a reference to Hillary Clinton's famous adage, "It takes a village to raise a child", and a subtle message to the country too.


Ardern has shared a great deal of this experience with the public and she hopes the public will help she and her partner do the best for this baby born to a sitting Prime Minister.

There is no doubt the public will respond to that request. New Zealand respects the privacy of politician's children until the children are old enough to choose for themselves whether they want to capitalise on their parent's name.

Baby Ardern-Gayford is in no danger of being drawn into politics even if the Labour Party would like her to be. The party's Instagram post, "Welcome to the team", was possibly not the wisest.

The pleasure the whole country will take in having a young mother at the head of its Government - with a crib in the corner of her office, she says - transcends politics. It will not redeem the Government if mistakes are made or unwise decisions made, nor will it be held to blame.

When she returns from maternity leave, expected to be in six weeks, the Prime Minister will be fully confident she can continue to lead the Government and meet all the baby's needs with her partner's help. If things go wrong for the Government, she will not make the baby an excuse and she will not want anyone else to make that excuse for her.

Just as it does for a royal baby, the country has shared the pleasure of this birth. Ardern has been generous with her willingness to keep the public informed of her progress and plans, including posting a picture of the baby and happy parents last night.

Just as for a royal birth, the pleasure it gives lies in the fact that the events are not at all out of the ordinary. The couple in the public eye are doing exactly what most young couple do, having the same experience, expressing the same feelings.

It underlines the fact that we have much more in common than divides us. We get that message from royalty more often than from politics but when a Prime Minister can reinforce it by giving birth, it is especially valuable. The village shares her happiness today.