The secret meaning behind Jacinda Ardern's baby's name

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced the world to her baby girl on Sunday, Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford.

Matamata-Piako District Mayor Jan Barnes joined The AM Show from the small Waikato town of Te Aroha to explain the symbolism behind its name.

"Jacinda loves this part of New Zealand, I know she does," she told host Duncan Garner on Monday.

"And of course, this is home for her - this is a very special place, Te Aroha."

Neve is the Anglicised spelling of Niamh, which means "bright" in Irish. In Irish legends, Niamh was the daughter of the sea god.

Ms Barnes says the name Te Aroha means "the love" and she encourages people to visit her region to see why Neve was named after it.

"We have this beautiful mountain, and when you drive in its all-empowering. People are just in awe when they come into Te Aroha. It has so much character," she says.

"Going forward I would imagine Jacinda will be bringing her little Neve back here to explore, to experience rural New Zealand. Why wouldn't people come on down - they might just see the Prime Minister and her little girl."

Ms Ardern says she decided on Neve's middle name quite early.

"It was our way of reflecting the amount of love she received, before she arrived," said Ms Ardern.

"It seemed to show that love and generosity. It's also the place all my family are from. I grew up under that mountain.

"I'm not placing any great expectations on this little baby except happiness and love."


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