Jacinda Ardern says having Neve was highlight of her year

Jacinda Ardern has had nothing short of a tumultuous year full of ups and downs, but through it all, she says the highlight of 2018 has been her daughter Neve. 

Appearing on The Project on Friday, the Prime Minister was asked about her highs and lows of the year. She said she "wouldn't change anything about what we've done and all the work we've done". 

"Yes, in politics there's always ups and downs, but when I reflect back, I think we've achieved a lot."

But though all the political turmoil, she said her daughter Neve Te Aroha Ardern-Gayford, born in June, has been the highlight of her year. 

"Politics comes and goes and we have to admit that as politicians - we don't last forever - but I'll always be a mother," she told The Project. 

Jaquie Brown, one of the hosts, said, "It's lovely to think that Neve is having her first Christmas."

Ms Ardern became New Zealand's youngest prime minister when she took office - 37-years-old at the time - through a coalition deal last year after the inconclusive election. She then became the first woman in the country's history to give birth while in office.

But it didn't stop there. Earlier this month the Prime Minister was named the 29th most powerful woman in the world, above Australia's richest citizen, Gina Rinehart, at 30, and popstar Beyonce Knowles, at 50. 

As for the low points of her year, Ms Ardern said it was the petty political conflicts that wore her down. 

Sometimes there are little things that happen on the sidelines that aren't about the big stuff and that can be a bit of a distraction," she said. 

This could point to a number of scandals she's faced while in office, such as having to remove her own minister Meka Whaitiri or the botched Karel Sroubek scandal involving Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.  

As a high-profile figure, Ms Ardern is now even considering finally changing her phone number in the wake of claims she received a text from a friend of convicted drug smuggler Karel Sroubek. 

National has been demanding the release of a text message sent by martial artist-turned-activist Richie Hardcore, who counts the Prime Minister and the jailed drug smuggler amongst his friends.

Ms Ardern told The Project she's received messages from people "trying to get in" before She changes her phone number.  

"I've had the same one for about 10 years," she said.

"Even Uber drivers have my number."

Newshub.