Hipkins to take parental leave from Parliament

Not long ago Jacinda Ardern took leave from Parliament when she had her baby. Winston Peters took over as acting Prime Minister for eight weeks (and things seemed to tick over ok).

A week ago Green MP and Minister Julie Anne Genter had a baby and is currently on leave.

So it shouldn’t be a big deal that Chris Hipkins has announced that he will take four weeks parental leave when his second child is ‘born’ (by C-section).

This is the first time a male Minister has taken baby time out to this degree (I’m sure Ministers will have taken a bit of time out when babies have been born).

NZH:  Education Minister Chris Hipkins plans to take parental leave from Beehive for baby No. 2

Education Minister Chris Hipkins is planning to take up to four weeks paternity leave after the birth of his next baby at the end of the month.

“The main priority really will be to support the baby’s mum because the baby will be born by C-section”.

That means being around to do the heavy lifting, quite literally the heavy lifting.”

The baby will be the second for Hipkins and partner Jade.

He will also be spending time looking after the couple’s first child, Charlie, who turns two in October.

Hipkins says he already spends quality time with Charlie every morning with him, getting him up, having breakfast together and dropping him at day care.

The new baby will be subject to the same publicity regime as Charlie, who has no public photos, including on Face Book.

Hipkins: “I want him to be able to grow up like a normal Kiwi kid and I want him to have his own space to grow up and be a kid and not be public property. I accept that I am public property. That doesn’t mean that my family are.”

Hipkins will continue to be paid his ministerial salary – as Jacinda Ardern was when she took time off. There is no mechanism to stop MPs’ pay and they are not eligible for the ordinary paid parental leave scheme.

MPs are lucky that they can take time out for their families.

Hipkins has a heavy workload as:

  • Minister of Education
  • Minister of Ministerial Services
  • Minister of State Services
  • Leader of the House

Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin will pick up most of Hipkins’ education work. Iain lee-Galloway will take over Leader of the House duties. And State Services and Ministerial Services will be farmed out to others.

He was also given extra responsibilities after Clare Curran removed from Cabinet ten days ago:

State Services Minister Chris Hipkins will take back the Open Government responsibilities which were delegated to Hon Curran.

“The CTO appointment process is in its final stages. Minister Curran will have no further involvement in it and State Services Minister Hipkins will take over that process and finalise the details of the appointment and the implementation of the CTO role.

“Minister Hipkins has asked the State Services Commission to take a look at the CTO appointment process to ensure it has been robust, and that the meeting between Ms Curran and Mr Handley had no bearing on the process or outcome. The SSC will report back next week before the appointment process is concluded.

The CTO appointment should be dealt with by next month when Hipkins plans to take leave.

Open Government responsibilities may be put on hold. It shouldn’t make much difference, ‘open government’ was a bit of a joke under Curran.

Ardern taking leave showed that no Minister is indispensable – others should be able to take over when anyone needs to be absent.

It has happened before due to illness. In September 2016 then Minister Nikki Kaye took several months leave from Parliament to be treated for breast cancer. She resumed duties in early 2017.

Taking a few weeks off work is a privilege for MPs, many ordinary people are not in financial or employment situations that are so generous.

But it is a sign of more sensible times when MPs and ministers can take time off when they have children, whether they be male or female.

49 Comments

  1. Traveller

     /  September 3, 2018

    Call me old fashioned but in NZ 26% of women have C sections. How many oc their partners can take off 4 weeks. This man has a HUGE salary, generous leave and perks. Why can’t he do the job he’s elected to and hire staff to lift for his partner.

    MPs aren’t what they used to be.

    • robertguyton

       /  September 3, 2018

      4 WEEKS!!!!!
      Sounds fair.

      • What about he donates his salary to the homeless over this period then. Presumably his partner will be getting PPL also

        • Blazer

           /  September 3, 2018

          I’m sure he donates a ‘portion’…like..

          • I’d bet my last dollar he doesn’t

            • Blazer

               /  September 3, 2018

              still waiting for proof that Key donated all his salary to charity as you are adamant he…did!

            • robertguyton

               /  September 3, 2018

              Don’t hold…
              …your breath.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 3, 2018

              It’s very judgemental to assume that someone is a liar when you have no evidence of this. I prefer to take people’s words unless they are proved to be liars.

              Jeanette Fitzsimons said that she donated part of her salary to charity,as many MPs did. Do you assume that she is a liar and demand proof of which charities they were ?

            • robertguyton

               /  September 3, 2018

              You compare the saintly Jeanette to the slippery John?
              Of course we believe Jeanette – who wouldn’t???
              Of course we suspect Key of misspeaking – we’d be fools to take him at his word; what on earth are you thinking, Kitty???

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 3, 2018

              I hope that people are not referring to the fact that he is Jewish. Jews are known to be great philanthropists.

              I am not going to accuse anyone of lying unless I know that they cannot be telling the truth.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 3, 2018

              Blazer’s still waiting…

            • Gezza

               /  September 3, 2018

              It’s an honourable enough profession. I am never rude to waiters.

        • NOEL

           /  September 3, 2018

          If you’re a spouse or partner and you meet the:

          six month time criteria you may take one week’s unpaid partner’s leave
          twelve month time criteria you may take two weeks’ unpaid partner’s leave.

  2. David

     /  September 3, 2018

    4 weeks is crazy, my wife had a c section I 2as back at work 3 days later. Last thing she wanted was me sitting around all restless and bored

    • robertguyton

       /  September 3, 2018

      4 WEEKS!!!
      Crazy!

    • Blazer

       /  September 3, 2018

      C sections are so common now…a reflection of want as opposed to…need.

      Why were you restless and bored…you could have had nappy,feeding training…and given support to head off PND.

      • David

         /  September 3, 2018

        Mum was quite capable and lets face it there isnt a huge amount a bloke can do in those first few weeks aside from burp them, change a nappy and rock them to sleep.
        New Mums quite like to do everything themselves in my experience so you are left as a sort of housekeeper and somewhat in the way as hoards of their friends turn up and discuss stuff where they dont want a male around. The UK where you can take this sort of leave has had a terrible take up, best for a bloke not to be under Mums feet seems to be the consensus.
        I have no problem if there are complications and difficulties but taking 4 weeks off just because you can is crazy.

        • robertguyton

           /  September 3, 2018

          A c-section is … a complication and a difficulty.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  September 3, 2018

            Why do we have to use the Americanism for a caesarian ? We aren’t part of the US, we needn’t ape their language usages.

            Hordes, not hoards.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 3, 2018

              Why? Because Wikipedia uses it?
              “Caesarean section, also known as C-section or caesarean delivery, is the use of surgery to deliver babies”
              Wikipedia also says: “They also typically take longer to heal from, about six weeks, than vaginal birth”, so perhaps we should encourage Mr Hipkins to take 6, rather than 4 weeks to assist his wife’s recovery.
              “The Roman author and philosopher, Pliny the Elder believed that having been born by cesarean was an auspicious sign. From the baby’s point of view it was certainly fortuitous to be born this way, as the alternative would’ve been not to be born at all.” 🙂

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 3, 2018

              I know what it is and that it was named after Julius Caesar who was ‘ripp’d untimely from his mother’s womb’. . American arrogance changed the spelling of Caesarian.

              Why replace a word with a pointless new one ? Caesarian in this context can only mean what it does. It’s hardly such a complex word that people can’t be expected to remember it.

              As he isn’t the one having it, I fail to see why he needs to take so much time off, Or is he so easily replaceable that he won’t be missed ? If he can be spared, do we need him in the first place ?

            • robertguyton

               /  September 3, 2018

              The “Julius Caesar” thing you “know” …is a myth, Kitty. He wasn’t, it turns out, ripp’d, at all. I think the real reason for the alternative, is that for many people, “Caesarian” is difficult to spell, plus, remembering to capitalise or not adds further complication 🙂

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 3, 2018

              Wikipedia is irrelevant; it’s hardly my first source of information.

              Caesarian is hardly a difficult word to spell, 9 letters. The same number as C-section if you count – as a letter. One would have to be rather illiterate to have trouble with a word like that.

              It may be a myth, but it was named after Julius Caesar….I thought that you might have recognised the quote and known who the person was, and why this was important.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 3, 2018

              I did recognise the quote and knew of it’s meaning, though my memory said, “untimely ripp’d”, not “ripp’d untimely” so it pays to google-up these things before committing to print.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 3, 2018

              The scansion demands ripp’d untimely.

              It’s MacDuff, who was able to to vanquish MacBeth because, although he couldn’t be defeated by any man who was born of a woman, McDuff didn’t count because he wasn’t ‘born’ in that sense.

              I won’t ask Corky to tell me why people I know who live in Dunsinane Place were persuaded by me to call their house Birnam Woods.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 3, 2018

              I often cite the wandering woods of Birnam.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 3, 2018

              Some people can’t understand why the Ms called the house that. Spare me 😦

            • Gezza

               /  September 3, 2018

              I haven’t a clue what you two are talking about and I don’t feel like I need to or that I’m missing out on anything that really matters. 😐

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 3, 2018

              MacBeth.

              One of the prophecies was that he would be vanquished ‘when Birnam Woods shall come to Dunsinane’. and killed by someone who wasn’t born of a woman.

              This, of course, was reassuring, because it couldn’t happen. but like all the witches’ prophecies, there was a twist.

              MacDuff’s men cut branches to act as camouflage so that if anyone looked out, they would not see the men behind the foliage (I imagine that these stood still when this happened) as they crept up ….thus Birnam Woods did come to Dunsinane.

            • Gezza

               /  September 3, 2018

              Righto. But knowing that doesn’t cure world cancer or put a man on the moon.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 3, 2018

              It’s all part of life’s rich tapestry.

              My mind to me a kingdom is. as Walter Raleigh said.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  September 3, 2018

    Maybe when his kids grow up he’ll start to like charter schools.

  4. David

     /  September 3, 2018

    1% of men in the UK use maternity leave which I think was the argument who used when denying extending such provisions to Dads and wouldnt accept Nationals amendment to enable that..none other than Hipkins party.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  September 3, 2018

      That was unbelievably sexist and unfair, and seemed to be done as an ‘up yours’ gesture to National.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  September 3, 2018

    There are too many kids whose fathers take permanent parental leave.

    • NOEL

       /  September 3, 2018

      No, the fathers take permanent paternal leave.
      Only way dad can get parental leave is if mum gives it to him.

  6. artcroft

     /  September 3, 2018

    Help us all out Skippy and take the rest of the parliamentary term off.

  7. Kitty Catkin

     /  September 3, 2018

    So much for Clarke Gayford being the fulltime babyminder.

    Now it’s costing tens of thousands to take the baby to the Pacific because she hasn’t been vaccinated, not to mention who knows how much fuel will be used for this jaunt. Why isn’t dad looking after her rather than letting the taxpayer pay for a special plane ?

    Tovah O’Brien says it’s ‘very unique’. Very unique ? How can something be that ?

    • robertguyton

       /  September 3, 2018

      “Some take permanent prenatal leave…..”
      That would only last until the birth, right???

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 3, 2018

        No, they take off prenatally, over the hills and far away…

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 3, 2018

        It’s taken prenatally, of course.

        • Gezza

           /  September 3, 2018

          Yes. Take one prenatal and don’t call her in the morning. And they’re out of there.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  September 3, 2018

            The woman who was interviewed on the news item about WINZ wanting DPB mothers to name fathers and was indignant that she was expected to know who they were (it was x, y and z years ago; how could she be expected to remember everyone she had been with that long ago ?) must have surprised a few people. She did me, and I didn’t think that I could be surprised by much in that line.

    • David

       /  September 3, 2018

      Think of the carbon footprint let alone the 80k of fuel, where is Guyton and Griff ?

      • robertguyton

         /  September 3, 2018

        Right here (one of us at least). She’s the Prime Minister; you don’t hamper the activities of your country’s leader by criticising how much fuel they use – get your priorities sorted, David!
        Did you criticise Key for having a house big enough to keep a dozens homeless families in?
        They gotta do what they gotta do. In any case, Neve, she’s so cute !

  8. Rowen

     /  September 5, 2018

    C-sections are usually a sign that something hasn’t gone quite right. No-one here has any idea what Hipkins wife pregnancy has gone like, so maybe he needs to take time out to look after his family. They also have a 1 year old.

  1. Hipkins to take parental leave from Parliament — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition