Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she won't be letting partner Clarke Gayford off the hook by asking him to marry her.

Ardern laughed raucously when asked whether a marriage proposal on her part might be in the couple's near future in an interview with the BBC overnight (NZT).

During a wide-ranging interview, host Victoria Derbyshire asked Ardern if she could imagine asking Gayford to marry her.

"I would not ask, no. No."

Advertisement
PM Jacinda Ardern tells the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire she will leave partner Clarke Gayford to go through
PM Jacinda Ardern tells the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire she will leave partner Clarke Gayford to go through "the pain and torture" of having to agonise about popping the question himself. Photo / BBC

When Derbyshire pointed out she was a feminist, Ardern replied: "Absolutely I'm a feminist. But I want to put him through the pain and torture of having to agonise about that question himself.

"No, that's letting him off the hook. Absolutely not," she said, laughing.

Derbyshire had hoped Ardern would have the couple's seven-month-old daughter Neve with her for the interview.

Ardern said while Neve travelled with her around New Zealand all the time, she had travelled only once internationally – to the UN General Assembly last year.

Ardern admitted she found it difficult to leave her daughter when she travelled.
"I do find it difficult. I go through the exact same emotion any other parent does when I'm away from her for any period of time. But I video-call, not that you can have much of a conversation with a seven-month-old, but I try to keep contact."

Ardern said she and Gayford "took every day as it comes", juggling Neve's care between themselves and their "wonderful mothers".

She could not compare motherhood and being Prime Minister, saying they were "completely different roles".

"At the end of a day, when it's easy to feel like you've got the weight of the world on your shoulders, at least the weight of your country, it's amazing what just her giggling at me can do to bring perspective."

Advertisement