Melinda Gates sings Jacinda Ardern's praises over paid parental leave package

Philanthropist Melinda Gates has praised Jacinda Ardern for increasing paid parental leave while on maternity leave herself.

On Sunday (local time) the former Microsoft employee and wife of Bill Gates retweeted a video from NowThis explaining the basics of Labour's Families Package, which came into effect on July 1.

"@jacindaardern launched a new #paidleave program for New Zealand while on leave caring for her own newborn," Ms Gates wrote. "This is what leadership looks like."

The Gates Foundation, founded by Melinda and Bill in 2000, has offered its employees up to 52 weeks of paid parental leave since 2015.

Ms Ardern famously filmed a Facebook Live video from her couch the day the Families Package scheme kicked in, explaining her thoughts on the programme with baby Neve on her lap.

"I'm really excited about the difference this package is going to make to New Zealanders," she said, even though she herself wasn't eligible for paid parental leave as an elected official.

"I'm really proud of it. I think of all the things people ask me that we've done since starting in Government, this is the proudest thing."

The multi-billion-dollar scheme gives 384,000 families extra money in the back pocket through changes to Working for Families, the 'Best Start' payment to families of newborn babies, winter energy payments for beneficiaries and extended paid parental leave, at a higher pay rate.

Ms Ardern is currently midway through her allotted six weeks of parental leave.