Wellington: New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is engaged to her long-term partner, television presenter Clarke Gayford, her spokesperson confirmed on Friday.

It emerged that the couple had got engaged over the Easter weekend in Hawke's Bay after Ardern was spotted wearing a diamond ring at an event at the Pike River mine on Friday, reports the Guardian. Ardern and Gayford became a couple after he approached her about a constituency issue in her Auckland electorate of Mount Albert about five years ago. In June last year, the pair became parents to daughter Neve Te Aroha, making Ardern the second Prime Minister in history to give birth while in office.

The first was the late Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's two-time Prime Minister. Gayford, who is referred to as the "first bloke" in New Zealand, took time off his job as host of a fishing TV show to care for the child. He has previously said his responsibilities in the relationship include making sure Ardern doesn't have lipstick on her teeth, reminding her to take her vitamins and eat proper dinners when she can. In January, Ardern, when asked by the BBC if she would ever propose to Gayford, said: "No I would not ask, no. I want to put him through the pain and torture of having to agonise about that question himself." On social media, New Zealanders offered their congratulations to the couple, including opposition leader Simon Bridges and British High Commissioner Laura Clarke.IANS

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