Jacinda Ardern's parents knew 20 years ago she'd be Prime Minister

Ross and Jacinda Ardern.
Ross and Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: MFAT/Getty

While the country and Jacinda Ardern waited for Winston Peters' decision on Thursday night, there were two people who already knew she'd be the next Prime Minister - her parents.

Ms Ardern, 37, will become the country's second-youngest leader when she's sworn in next week, after working out a deal with the Greens and Mr Peters' NZ First to form the next Government.

Her parents Ross and Laurell Ardern live in Niue, where Mr Ardern has been High Commissioner to the island country since 2013.

"We were both absolutely ecstatic and very, very proud of what Jacinda has achieved," he told Newshub on Friday.

He heard the news via radio, listening live as Mr Peters delivered his speech on Friday evening. Like his daughter, he didn't know which way Mr Peters was going to fall.

"I was pretty much in the dark for the most part, but I knew that she would have put her heart and soul into the negotiations."

But he and Laurell say they've known for more than 20 years their daughter was "destined for higher things".

"This might come as a shock… but I think both Larelle and I knew from the time she was at high school that one day she would be the Prime Minister of this country," said Mr Ardern.

"There was a young person in her class, maybe form six or seven, who wrote in her yearbook she was destined to become the Prime Minister of New Zealand. I wonder if that person's looking back and wondering, 20 years later, if they'd put a dollar each way on that, they would have done pretty well."

He hopes to come back to New Zealand soon to congratulate her in person, but says that will be up to his bosses.

"We called last evening and told her we were very proud."