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New Zealand politician cycles to hospital in labour, gives birth

AFRICA
By Reuters and Winfrey Owino | November 29th 2021

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. [Julie Anne Genter, via Reuters]

Julie Anne Genter, New Zealand MP got on her bicycle on Sunday, November 28, and headed to the hospital.

Since she was due for delivery, her labour pains had begun and she gave birth an hour later.

"Big news!" the Greens politician posted on her Facebook page a few hours later.

Then added, "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, with a population of five million, already has a reputation for down-to-earth politicians.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern famously took maternity leave while in office and brought her three-month old to a United Nations 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.

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