New Zealand politician cycles to hospital in labour, gives birth


Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter rides a bicyle to the hospital while in labour, in Wellington, New Zealand, November 28, 2021, in this picture obtained from social media. Mandatory credit JULIE ANNE GENTER / FACEBOOK /via REUTERS

MELBOURNE (Reuters) -New Zealand Member of Parliament Julie Anne Genter got on her bicycle early on Sunday and headed to the hospital. She was already in labour and she gave birth an hour later.

"Big news!" the Greens politician posted on her Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JulieAnneGenter page a few hours later. "At 3.04am this morning we welcomed the newest member of our family. I genuinely wasn’t planning to cycle in labour, but it did end up happening."

The island nation of 5 million already has a reputation for down-to-earth politicians. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern famously took maternity https://www.reuters.com/article/us-newzealand-politics-ardern-idUSKBN1KN0A8 leave while in office and brought her three-month old to a United Nations https://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-assembly-leaders-idUSKCN1M30XW meeting as she was still breastfeeding.

"My contractions weren’t that bad when we left at 2am to go to the hospital - though they were 2-3 min apart and picking up in intensity by the time we arrived 10 minutes later," Genter wrote.

"Amazingly now we have a healthy, happy little one sleeping, as is her dad," said Genter, a dual New Zealand-U.S. citizen who was born in Minnesota and moved to the Pacific country in 2006.

Genter - her party's spokesperson for transport issues and whose Facebook profile includes "I love my bicycle" - also biked to the hospital in 2018 to give birth to her first-born, local media said.

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by William Mallard)

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