Government Minister Julie Anne Genter has returned to work after three months on parental leave.

Genter, who is Minister for Women as well as Associate Minister of Transport and Health, gave birth to her son Joaquin in August after a headline-grabbing ride to hospital on her bike to be induced.

"I knew that name was going to be a bit more unusual in a New Zealand context, but it was the only one that really fit."

Now the Green MP is excited to be returning to work, with partner Peter Nunns and Joaquin in tow.


The family will be relocating from Auckland to Wellington next year to allow Genter more family time.

"It's a great time to come back. We're one year in, we've got a lot of work to be done so I'm eager to get back into it," she said.

Genter laughed when asked if she had a good break. "I wouldn't call having a newborn a break. In fact it's the hardest job I've ever done. I have so much respect for solo parents, families with more than one child. It's a wonderful but also exhausting and challenging time."

Her first day back today involves a funding announcement at Titahi Bay School near Wellington for two nationwide initiatives to get more children cycling to school.

Other priorities are road safety and closing the gender pay gap.

"I'm so lucky my partner is going to be taking off some time for the next few months so he'll be around Parliament with the baby which will enable me to do my work while still being able to feed the baby and be around him quite a bit," Genter said.

Nunns will be joining Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford in being baby wrangler at large.

Gayford is often seen with Neve, the couple's baby, born two months before Joaquin.


Genter said Joaquin didn't have a bicycle of his own yet but she and Nunns had an electric cargo bike which had a baby safety seat in front so she could keep an eye on him when they were riding.

Asked what had been tougher, becoming a Minister or becoming a mother, she said becoming a mother is "definitely the hardest thing I've ever done – but it's also the most wonderful."

She said Joaquin had yet to meet baby Neve, "but hopefully soon they will have a play date".

Genter made worldwide headlines in August after riding her bike to hospital in Auckland to be induced when she was 42 weeks pregnant.

She posted several images of herself standing beside her bike at the hospital, and another on the bike.