New Zealand Minister Bikes to the Hospital to Give Birth to First Child

New Zealand's minister for women biked to the hospital on Sunday to give birth to her first child.

Julie Anne Genter, 38, who hails from the country's Green Party, said there wasn't enough space in the car for her. So she decided to hop on her bike and ride to the hospital.

"This is it, wish us luck! (My partner and I cycled because there wasn't enough room in the car for the support crew ... but it also put me in the best possible mood!)" Genter, who is also the country's associate minister for health and transport and an avid cyclist, wrote, sharing photos of her ride to Instagram.

According to The Independent, Genter, who was 42 weeks pregnant, said her ride was mostly downhill and that she used an electric bike to make the trip. "Probably should have cycled more in the last few weeks to get the labor going!" she quipped.

American actress Kristen Bell praised Genter's cycling, sharing the story on Twitter with the caption "WHAT A BABE."

The Green Party also shared the minister's photo, calling the move "the most #onbrand thing ever" followed by a green emoji heart.


— Kristen Bell (@IMKristenBell) August 20, 2018

Genter's delivery happened just a few weeks after New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern returned to work after giving birth. This made Ardern, who had a baby girl named Neve, the second world leader in modern times to give birth while in office. She took just six weeks of maternity leave following the delivery, despite being allowed 18 weeks.

"I am going to be focused on getting straight back into it ... we'll be hitting the ground running, as I know everyone will expect us to do," Ardern said in a Facebook video just ahead of her return to work.

Commenting on female politicians giving birth while in office, Genter said: "I think that it's OK to celebrate it. I don't think we're at the point where we can say 'no big deal,'" The Guardian reported.

However, as The Guardian also reported, women politicians in New Zealand have been giving birth while in office for many years. Back in 1970, Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan, of the country's Labour party, became the first woman to give birth while an MP in New Zealand. Ruth Richardson, of the National Party, reportedly breastfed at work in 1983, and the country's parliament established an in-house childcare center back in the 1990s.