New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives at Wellington Airport with her partner Clarke Gayford and their daughter Neve on August 4, 2018. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty Images
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives at Wellington Airport with her partner Clarke Gayford and their daughter Neve on August 4, 2018. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Jacinda Ardern spotted wearing engagement ring

THE much-loved New Zealand Prime Minister became engaged over Easter, it's been revealed.

Jacinda Ardern's team confirmed the news this afternoon.

Ms Ardern's press secretary said the PM got engaged to her longtime partner, Clarke Gayford, during the Easter break and had been wearing the ring on her middle finger.

The couple have 10-month-old daughter Neve together.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford pose for a photo with their new baby girl on June 21, 2018 in Auckland. Picture: Office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford pose for a photo with their new baby girl on June 21, 2018 in Auckland. Picture: Office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand

The ring was spotted on Ms Ardern's hand at a ceremony at Pike River on the West Coast of New Zealand on Friday.

Earlier this year she told the BBC that she wanted to put her partner through the "pain and torture" of having to agonise over popping the question, when asked if she would do so herself being a feminist.

Ms Ardern, 38, and Mr Gayford, 41, met at an awards event in 2012.

New Zealand's "first bloke" was master of ceremonies at the Metro Restaurant Awards last year where he revealed he'd met Ms Ardern at the same event, which pick Auckland's top restaurants.

In 2017, two months after she became New Zealand's 40th Prime Minister, she quashed speculation she and Gayford were engaged.

"I thought I would upfront address the speculation in the gallery this afternoon over my Facebook Live and the issue of where my ring was placed during that Facebook live," Ardern told media at a post-cabinet press conference.

"I'm happy to confirm that I have eczema on my left hand, which causes me to rotate where I wear my beautiful onyx ring. So no I am not engaged.

"I do however suffer from a small skin condition, which is not very romantic. Glad to have cleared that up."

The ring spotted on Friday: Anna Osborne from the Family Reference Group embraces Ms Ardern at the entrance to the Pike River Mine in Greymouth, New Zealand. Picture: Phil Walter/Getty Images
The ring spotted on Friday: Anna Osborne from the Family Reference Group embraces Ms Ardern at the entrance to the Pike River Mine in Greymouth, New Zealand. Picture: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Ms Ardern was at Pike River where 29 men were trapped and killed underground following an explosion on November 19, 2010.

The bodies of the men have never been recovered.

The re-entry process that was due to recover the men today has begun but is now facing delays due to elevated levels of oxygen detected inside the mine.



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