“For her nine month birthday today we received the gift of crawling. While her mum got her the gift of having a safer country to grow up in.”
Less than 24 hours after a terrorist murdered 50 people in a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern uttered the words her country was waiting to hear: “our gun laws will change”.
Listen to the story of Jacinda Ardern on The Quicky. Post continues after audio…
Less than six days later, she followed through on that promise. Legislation to come into effect on April 11 will see a ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles, plus large-capacity magazines. As well as an immediate halt on sales of weapons to avoid stockpiling, the government will spend an estimated NZ$100m-200m on a buyback program to remove now-banned weapons from the streets.
In making this swift decision, Ardern made New Zealand a safer place for all families to grow up in – including her own.
Just hours after the news broke, Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford posted a tribute to her on Twitter. He said while their nine-month-old baby, Neve Te Aroha, had given them the gift of crawling that day, her mum had given her the gift of growing up in a safer country.
Ardern and Gayford first met in 2012. She was a Labour MP and he was TV personality, most known for his show Fish of the Day.
Gayford was hosting the Metro Restaurant Awards and Ardern was attending the event with model and TV personality Colin Mathura-Jeffree, who had been featured on the cover of that month’s Metro magazine.
The pair later spent time together when Gayford approached Ardern with a constituency issue. They met for a coffee. Then another. Then another. Their coffee dates eventually turned into something more serious.
For their first official date, Gayford took Ardern fishing. He later told the New Zealand Women’s Weekly that he knew Ardern was the one when she caught a “5.4kg snapper.”.
“The signs couldn’t have been clearer,” he said.
“We don’t really talk about it publicly. She’s definitely been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I didn’t know what it meant to work hard until I started seeing what she does on a daily basis,” Gayford told the NZ Herald in 2016.
For her 9 month birthday today we received the gift of crawling.
While her mum got her the gift of having a safer country to grow up in. pic.twitter.com/FiCSTn0PM8
— Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) March 21, 2019