TODAY |

Jacinda Ardern celebrates with cuddles and cake as parental leave extended

Campaigners for increased parental leave, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, have celebrated today's development with cuddles and cake as the increase kicks in today.

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Parents of babies born from July 1 onwards get a boost to the paid parental leave. Source: 1 NEWS

Parents of babies born from today are now entitled to 26 weeks, six full months of leave - up from 22 weeks.

The payment is also boosted by $20 a week.

Today there were celebrations at Parliament as campaigners embraced the result.

"Ultimately, this is a no-brainer," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at the event.

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"If we want to be a country that's known for being the best place in the world not just to be a parent, or to raise a family, but the best place in the world to be a child ... then this is a no-brainer."

One woman reflected on a similar event 27 years ago, when the campaign was launched to introduce 12 weeks of paid parental leave in New Zealand.

"So we've come a long way, haven't we? It's amazing really," she says.

Ms Ardern, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and members from 26 for Babies, an advocacy group pushing for the paid leave, commemorated the moment with a cake, with the assistance of one helpful young girl.

Ms Ardern says her two-year-old daughter, Neve, wasn't in attendance, due to a runny nose.