Partner of the prime minister of New Zealand
Currently in role
Clarke Gayford
Since 26 October 2017
ResidencePremier House
Inaugural holderElizabeth Sewell
Formation7 May 1856

The spouse of the prime minister of New Zealand, or partner of the prime minister of New Zealand (when unmarried), is the wife/husband (spouse) or domestic partner of the New Zealand prime minister. She or he is the hostess or host of Premier House. It is not an official office and, as such, they are not given a salary or official duties.

The 23rd prime minister, Michael Joseph Savage, was a bachelor during his term, but otherwise, until the tenure of the 36th prime minister, Jenny Shipley, the post had always been filled by a woman; Burton Shipley was Jenny Shipley's husband. The current prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, is unmarried; her partner (since May 2019, fiancé) is radio personality Clarke Gayford.[1]

Current

The current domestic partner of the prime minister of New Zealand is Clarke Gayford; his partner, Jacinda Ardern, became the prime minister on 26 October 2017.

There are currently eight living spouses of former prime ministers of New Zealand:

The most recent spouse of a New Zealand prime minister to die was Dame Thea Muldoon, DBE QSO (widow of Sir Robert Muldoon, GCMG CH), on 24 February 2015.

Role

The prime minister's spouse has no official duties. Some earlier spouses stayed mainly at home and took little part in public life.

However, most recent prime ministers' spouses have been involved in charities or community organisations, working to raise public awareness, funds, and support for a range of causes. They generally assist their partners in political campaigns, and participate in official duties that come with the position, such as hosting foreign dignitaries, and, in particular, entertaining the spouses of dignitaries; accompanying the prime minister on national and international trips; and attending conferences and functions. They have attended the opening of Parliament; hosted visitors at Premier House; visited Buckingham Palace, the White House, or the Japanese Imperial Palace; and been present at royal coronations and conferences.

Official recognition

Some prime ministers' spouses have received official recognition for their services to the community with a damehood:

Muldoon was the first spouse of a prime minister to be provided with an official secretary for dealing with her correspondence.[2]

List of spouses

No. Portrait Spouse
(Maiden name)
Tenure Length of tenure Prime Minister
1
Elizabeth Sewell (née Kittoe) – 1880
(aged 61)
7 May 1856

20 May 1856
13 days Sewell
m. 1850
2
Sarah Fox (Lady Fox) (née Halcomb) – 23 June 1892
(aged 76)
20 May 1856

2 June 1856
13 days Fox
m. 1842
3
Emily Stafford (née Charlotte)
February 1827 – 18 April 1857
(aged 29)

2 June 1856

18 April 1857†
10 months and 16 days Stafford
m. 1846
01.1 Vacant 18 April 1857

5 December 1859
2 years, 7 months and 17 days Stafford
Widower
4
Mary Stafford (Lady Stafford) (née Bartley)
1835 – 1899
(aged 64)

5 December 1859

12 July 1861
1 year, 7 months and 7 days Stafford
m. 1859
(2)
Sarah Fox (Lady Fox) (née Halcomb)
1816 – 23 June 1892
(aged 76)

12 July 1861

6 August 1862
1 year and 25 days Fox
m. 1842
5
Mary Domett (née George)
unknown – 1887
(aged unknown)

6 August 1862

30 October 1863
1 year, 2 months and 24 days Domett
m. 1856
6
Jane Augusta Whitaker (Lady Whitaker) (née Griffith)
1822 – 3 September 1884
(aged 62)

30 October 1863

24 November 1864
1 year and 25 days Whitaker
m. 1843
7
Filumena Mary Anne Weld (Lady Weld) (née Lisle Phillipps)
c. 1828[3] – 1903
(around aged 75)

24 November 1864

16 October 1865
10 months and 22 days Weld
m. 1859
(4)
Mary Stafford (Lady Stafford) (née Bartley)
1835 – 1899
(aged 64)

16 October 1865

28 June 1869
3 years, 8 months and 12 days Stafford
m. 1859
(2)
Sarah Fox (Lady Fox) (née Halcomb)
1816 – 23 June 1892
(aged 76)

28 June 1869

10 September 1872
3 years, 2 months and 13 days Fox
m. 1842
(4)
Mary Stafford (Lady Stafford) (née Bartley)
1835 – 1899
(aged 64)

10 September 1872

11 October 1872
1 month and 1 day Stafford
m. 1859
8
Lydia Waterhouse (née Giles)
1827 – 25 January 1910
(aged 83)

11 October 1872

3 March 1873
4 months and 20 days Waterhouse
m. 1848
(2)
Sarah Fox (Lady Fox) (née Halcomb)
1816 – 23 June 1892
(aged 76)

3 March 1873

8 April 1873
1 month and 5 days Fox
m. 1842
9
Mary Vogel (Lady Vogel) (née Clayton)
18 February 1849 – 12 August 1933
(aged 84)

8 April 1873

6 July 1875
2 years, 2 months and 28 days Vogel
m. 1867
10
Jane Pollen (née Henderson)
1828[4][5] – 1903
(aged 74–75)

6 July 1875

15 February 1876
7 months and 9 days Pollen
m. 1846
(9)
Mary Vogel (Lady Vogel) (née Clayton)
18 February 1849 – 12 August 1933
(aged 84)

15 February 1876

1 September 1876
6 months and 17 days Vogel
m. 1867
11
Ann Elizabeth Atkinson (Lady Atkinson) (née Smith)
1838 – 1919
(aged 80–81)

1 September 1876

13 October 1877
1 year, 1 month and 12 days Atkinson
m. 1867
12
Elizabeth Lucy "Eliza" Grey (Lady Grey) (née Spencer)
1823 – 4 September 1898
(aged 74–75)

13 October 1877

8 October 1879
1 year, 11 months and 25 days Grey
m. 1839
13
Rose Anne Hall (Lady Hall) (née Dryden)
22 December 1828 – 12 May 1900
(aged 71)

8 October 1879

21 April 1882
2 years, 6 months and 13 days Hall
m. 1861
(6)
Jane Augusta Whitaker (Lady Whitaker) (née Griffith)
1822 – 3 September 1884
(aged 62)

21 April 1882

25 September 1883
1 year, 5 months and 4 days Whitaker
m. 1843
(11)
Ann Elizabeth Atkinson (Lady Atkinson) (née Smith)
1838 – 1919
(aged 80–81)

25 September 1883

16 August 1884
10 months and 22 days Atkinson
m. 1867
14
Anna Paterson Stout (Lady Stout) (née Logan)
29 September 1858 – 10 May 1931
(aged 72)

16 August 1884

28 August 1884
12 days Stout
m. 1876
(11)
Ann Elizabeth Atkinson (Lady Atkinson) (née Smith)
1838 – 1919
(aged 80–81)

28 August 1884

3 September 1884
6 days Atkinson
m. 1867
(14)
Anna Paterson Stout (Lady Stout) (née Logan)
29 September 1858 – 10 May 1931
(aged 72)

3 September 1884

8 October 1887
3 years, 1 month and 5 days Stout
m. 1876
(11)
Ann Elizabeth Atkinson (Lady Atkinson) (née Smith)
1838 – 1919
(aged 80–81)

8 October 1887

24 January 1891
3 years, 3 months and 16 days Atkinson
m. 1867
15
Ellen Ballance (née Anderson)
1846 – 14 June 1935
(aged 88–89)

24 January 1891

27 April 1893
2 years, 3 months and 3 days Ballance
m. 1870
16
Louisa Jane Seddon (née Spotswood)
28 May 1851 – 9 July 1931
(aged 80)

27 April 1893

10 June 1906
13 years, 1 month and 14 days Seddon
m. 1869
17
Rosalind Lucy Hall-Jones (Lady Hall-Jones) (née Purss)
30 May 1858 – 13 October 1942
(aged 84)

10 June 1906

6 August 1906
1 month and 27 days Hall-Jones
m. 1877
18
Theresa Dorothea Ward (Lady Ward) (née de Smidt)
1866 – 1927
(aged 60–61)

6 August 1906

28 March 1912
5 years, 7 months and 22 days Ward
m. 1883
19
Ida Henrietta Mackenzie (Lady Mackenzie) (née Nantes)
23 December 1850 – 28 April 1926
(aged 75)

28 March 1912

10 July 1912
3 months and 12 days Mackenzie
m. 1884
20
(Dame) Christina Allan Massey (née Paul)
11 January 1863 – 19 April 1932
(aged 69)

10 July 1912

10 May 1925
12 years and 10 months Massey
m. 1882
21
Caroline Bell (Lady Bell) (née Robinson)
1853 – 8 September 1935
(aged 81–82)

10 May 1925

30 May 1925
20 days Bell
m. 1878
22
Marguerite Grace "Marjorie" Coates (née Coles)
3 October 1892 – 1973
(aged 80–81)

30 May 1925

10 December 1928
3 years, 6 months and 10 days Coates
m. 1914
01.1 Vacant 10 December 1928

28 May 1930
1 year, 5 months and 18 days Ward
Widower
23
Emma Serena Forbes (née Gee)
20 August 1877 – 9 February 1961
(aged 83)

28 May 1930

6 December 1935
5 years, 6 months and 8 days Forbes
m. 1898
01.1 Vacant 6 December 1935

27 March 1940
4 years, 3 months and 21 days Savage
Bachelor
24
Janet Fraser (née Munro, formerly Kemp)
31 January 1883 – 7 March 1945
(aged 62)

27 March 1940

7 March 1945†
4 years, 11 months and 8 days Fraser
m. 1919
01.1 Vacant 7 March 1945

13 December 1949
4 years, 9 months and 6 days Fraser
Widower
25
Florence Beatrice Holland (Lady Holland) (née Drayton)
26 October 1894 – 1976
(aged 81–82)

13 December 1949

20 September 1957
7 years, 9 months and 7 days Holland
m. 1920
26
(Dame) Norma Janet Holyoake (née Ingram)
7 March 1909 – 18 December 1984
(aged 75)

20 September 1957

12 December 1957
2 months and 22 days Holyoake
m. 1934
27
Lottie May "Lotty" Nash (Lady Nash) (née Eaton)
17 March 1880 – 12 December 1961
(aged 81)

12 December 1957

12 December 1960
3 years Nash
m. 1906
(26)
(Dame) Norma Janet Holyoake (née Ingram)
7 March 1909 – 18 December 1984
(aged 75)

12 December 1960

7 February 1972
11 years, 1 month and 26 days Holyoake
m. 1934
28
Jessie Margaret Marshall (Lady Marshall) (née Livingston)
17 January 1917[6] – 2004
(aged 86–87)

7 February 1972

8 December 1972
10 months and 1 day Marshall
m. 1944
29
(Dame) Lucy Ruth Kirk (née Miller)
28 April 1922 – 20 March 2000
(aged 77)

8 December 1972

31 August 1974
1 year, 8 months and 23 days Kirk
m. 1943
Irene Frances Watt (née unknown)
8 February 1918 – 30 April 2013[7]
(aged unknown)

31 August 1974

6 September 1974
6 days Watt
m. unknown
Acting
30
Glen Elna Rowling (Lady Rowling) (née Reeves)
bef. 1933
(aged around 87–88)

6 September 1974

12 December 1975
1 year, 3 months and 6 days Rowling
m. 1951
31
(Dame) Thea Dale Muldoon (née Flyger)
13 March 1927 – 24 February 2015
(aged 87)

12 December 1975

26 July 1984
8 years, 7 months and 14 days Muldoon
m. 1951
32
Naomi Joy Lange (née Crampton)
bef. 1950
(aged around 70–71)

26 July 1984

8 August 1989
5 years and 13 days Lange
m. 1968
33
Margaret Palmer (Lady Palmer) (née Hinchcliff)
bef. 1947
(aged around 73–74)

8 August 1989

4 September 1990
1 year and 27 days Palmer
m. 1963
34
Yvonne Moore (née Dereany)
bef. 1957
(aged around 63–64)

4 September 1990

2 November 1990
1 month and 29 days Moore
m. 1975
35
Joan Maureen Bolger (née Riddell)
bef. 1945
(aged around 75–76)

2 November 1990

8 December 1997
7 years, 1 month and 6 days Bolger
m. 1963
36
Burton Shipley
bef. 1954
(aged around 66–67)

8 December 1997

10 December 1999
2 years and 2 days Shipley
m. 1972
37
Peter Byard Davis
25 April 1947
(aged 74)

10 December 1999

19 November 2008
8 years, 11 months and 9 days Clark
m. 1981
38
Bronagh Irene Key (Lady Key) (née Dougan)
14 November 1963
(aged 58)

19 November 2008

12 December 2016
8 years and 23 days Key
m. 1984
39
Mary English (Lady English) (née Scanlon)
c. 1962[8]
(aged 58–59)

12 December 2016

26 October 2017
10 months and 14 days English
m. unknown
40
Clarke Gayfordα
24 October 1976[9]
(aged 45)

26 October 2017

Incumbent
4 years, 1 month and 1 day* Ardern
domestic partner

Domestic partner; engaged since May 2019.[1]

* Incumbent's length of tenure last updated: 27 November 2021.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford engaged". The New Zealand Herald. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Dame Thea Muldoon dies". Radio New Zealand News. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Person – National Portrait Gallery".
  4. ^ Sale, Charles. "Daniel Pollen grave monument details".
  5. ^ Zealand, National Library of New. "Papers Past – DEATHS. (New Zealand Herald, 2 December 1903)".
  6. ^ "Marshall, Margaret, 1917–2004". National Library. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  7. ^ admin (1 May 2013). "Irene WATT Obituary – Auckland, Auckland".
  8. ^ Chateau, Carroll du (7 December 2001). "The English Doctor". The New Zealand Herald.
  9. ^ "The spotlight on Jacinda Ardern's TV presenter partner Clarke Gayford". stuff. 2 August 2017.