Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is engaged to Clarke Gayford

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford are engaged, Newshub can confirm.

The pair were engaged over the Easter weekend and Ardern was spotted wearing what appeared to be a diamond ring on her left hand at a ceremony at Pike River on Friday.

Gayford, 41, and Ardern, 38, have been dating since 2012 after meeting at an awards event and have a one-year-old daughter together named Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford.

The couple have been widely congratulated on social media including by National leader Simon Bridges who tweeted that he and his wife Natalie extend their congratulations.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins offered his congratulations to the Prime Minister and her partner, as did Auckland Mayor Phil Goff who said: "Neve is going to make an adorable flower girl!"

Ardern made history last year as the second head of government to give birth while in office. She stood alongside Gayford on June 24, 2018, as they introduced their daughter to the world amid a flurry of local and international media.

The couple gained global notoriety when their baby daughter joined them at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September. An image of the Prime Minister sitting next to her partner while holding her baby went viral.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is engaged to Clarke Gayford
Photo credit: Reuters

Ardern, raised in the Waikato, has been questioned about her relationship to Gayford, with one particular interview the Prime Minister did with the BBC causing controversy.

She was asked by BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire: "Can you imagine asking your partner, Clarke Gayford, to marry you, or will you wait for him to ask you?"

Ardern said she wouldn't, and was asked: "You're a feminist?"

"Absolutely, I'm a feminist," Ardern replied, before explaining she wanted Gayford to agonise about asking her and didn't want to let him "off the hook".

The exchange raised eyebrows with many calling out Derbyshire's implication that because she wouldn't propose to Gayford, she wasn't a feminist.

Gayford, from Gisborne, has discussed how his life has changed since his partner became leader of the country in 2017.

He told The Rock Morning Rumble hosts last month: "There's a voice in the back of my head saying 'You're a long way from Gisborne now, bro'."

As the Prime Minister's partner, Gayford has been introduced to a host of powerful people, including the Queen and US President Donald Trump.

Ardern has also discussed her relationship with Gayford since becoming Prime Minister, telling NEXT magazine in March that it's often difficult for her to find spare time to spend with her family.

The Labour leader said she hasn't had an unproductive day "in about a decade", and said she had her partner "try not to have too many expectations because it's changeable".

Newshub.

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