People

New Zealand’s male politicians are bringing their babies to parliament – and the photos are going viral

Posted by
Sarah Shaffi
Published
Jacinda Ardern is influencing New Zealand's politicians

Politicians are following Jacinda Ardern’s lead when it comes to children and work.

If asked to name a politician who has (literally) been leading the way when it comes to politicians showing how progressive they are, you’ll probably cite Jacinda Ardern, and rightly so. 

Ardern became only the second elected leader in the world to give birth while in office. Then she made history by becoming the first world leader to take her baby to a gathering of the UN general assembly. And of course, there are the numerous occasions when she’s shot down sexist and creepy questions asked by interviewers.

And now it seems that her colleagues in New Zealand’s parliament are taking her lead and running with it.

You may also like

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern endures deeply creepy questions about pregnancy

MP Tamati Coffey has just returned from paternity leave after he and husband Tim Smith welcomed a baby boy, born through surrogate. During a debate this week, on his first day back, Coffey brought the couple’s baby to work with him.

That’s rare enough in itself - we don’t often see male politicians bringing their children to work with them, and so this is a big moment for local and international politics.

But that wasn’t all. Coffey needed to give his full attention to the debate, so in stepped New Zealand’s speaker of the house, Trevor Mallard, who offered up his services as a babysitter.

Mallard fed the baby, rocked him and burped him, all while presiding over the debate, while other MPs tweeted their delight at having the baby in parliament. The Lord Mayor of Kingston Upon Hull in the UK even tweeted his appreciation, saying: “How come New Zealand just seem to get everything right. Beautiful photos.”

Obviously, pictures and video from the debate have caught the public’s attention, and for good reason. By being welcoming to Coffey’s son, Mallard and New Zealand’s parliament have shown that parenting and politics can go hand in hand.

Of course, babies shouldn’t be hanging out at political debates every day, but as parents know, things sometimes come up which mean taking your child to work is unavoidable. If New Zealand’s government can not just make room for a child, but also actively welcome them, then other workplaces that are in a position to accommodate children have no excuse.

Don’t miss out: sign up to the Stylist Daily email for a curated edit of brilliant content every day

Image: Getty

Topics

Share this article

Author

Sarah Shaffi

Sarah Shaffi is a freelance journalist and editor. She reads more books a week than is healthy, and balances this out with copious amounts of TV. She writes regularly about popular culture, particularly how it reflects and represents society.

Recommended by Sarah Shaffi

Visible Women

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern endures deeply creepy questions about pregnancy

In a new interview, a male reporter said he was “smitten” with the New Zealand PM – and asked when her baby was conceived.

Posted by
Moya Crockett
Published
People

How Jacinda Ardern’s “wellbeing” budget will improve the mental health of New Zealanders

The country's Labour government is dedicating almost NZ$2bn to wellbeing.

Posted by
Sarah Shaffi
Published
People

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern was just asked if she would propose to her partner

“You’re a feminist?”

Posted by
Moya Crockett
Published
People

The deep political significance of Jacinda Ardern’s choice of baby name

The New Zealand Prime Minister has chosen a beautiful – and very meaningful – name for her first daughter.

Posted by
Moya Crockett
Published
People

Jacina Ardern’s response to a little girl’s question about dragons is the best thing

The New Zealand Prime Minister sent a handwritten note

Posted by
Hollie Richardson
Published