Mark Richardson breaks silence on Jacinda Ardern's pregnancy

In the three days since the country learned Jacinda Ardern was pregnant, one man has remained silent - until now.

The AM Show sportsreader Mark Richardson infamously clashed with the Prime Minister last year, when he said New Zealanders deserved to know whether Ms Ardern was planning to have a baby.

She had been Labour leader for only one day, and the election was about seven weeks away.

"I think it's a legitimate question for New Zealand, because she could be the Prime Minister leading this country. She has our best interest at heart. We need to know these things," he said.

"If you're the employer at a company, you need to know that type of thing from the women you're employing."

Ms Ardern told him it was "totally unacceptable in 2017 to say that women should have to answer that question in the workplace".

Jacinda Ardern shows Mark Richardson who's boss.
Jacinda Ardern shows Mark Richardson who's boss. Photo credit: The AM Show

Ms Ardern found out she was pregnant during coalition negotiations in October, and told the rest of the country on Friday.

Praise and congratulations rolled in from around New Zealand and the world, but Richardson stayed quiet, refusing to be goaded into comment by fellow cricket commentators Ian Smith and Scott Styris.

But he broke the waters on The AM Show on Monday.

"Is there any real need for me to say anything?" he asked.

"According to social media, yes," social media presenter Aziz Al-Sa'afin told him.

"I don't do my bidding on social media. I'm not the type of person that when something happens, I feel the need to get on there and go, 'ooh look at me, I'm a good person, look what I wrote'.

"I'm happy for them. I really am genuinely happy for them. Because from what I read there was a chance that in the course of her doing her duty for New Zealand, they could have missed out on this great opportunity. Take it from me - having a child, I've got two of them, really does enrich your life in a positive way. So I'm totally happy for them.

"Did they need my blessing? Does the country need my blessing? No. Did I ever say they couldn't do this? No. Does this actually change my original point? No.

"Will me and the PM still disagree on that original point? Yes. Is this an opportunity for a role model to go on and lead from the front once more? Yes, it most definitely is. Will I continue to vote National? Most likely. That's about all I need to say on that."

'When there's something to celebrate Jacinda, I'll celebrate it'

After the iconic finger-pointing interview in August, Richardson and Ms Ardern met face-to-face again in November. At this point, Ms Ardern knew she was pregnant - but she wasn't giving away any clues.

"When there's something to celebrate Jacinda, I'll celebrate it," Richardson told her.

She laughed.

On Monday, Ms Ardern said she was still looking forward to having a "warm embrace" with Richardson.