The weekend of January 13 is proving popular for tying the knot in political circles, with some Labour Party members possibly having to make some uncomfortable choices.
Former prime minister Dame Jacinda Ardern’s much delayed wedding to Clarke Gayford is finally going ahead – but so are the nuptials of her former workmate and Labour list MP Kieran McAnulty.
The guest lists at both the former political colleagues’ weddings are likely to include former and current MPs, some potentially having to choose which one they’ll attend.
McAnulty is to marry current Chief Press Secretary to Labour Leader Chris Hipkins, and Ardern’s ex-press secretary, Gia Garrick.
Ardern is marrying her long-term fiancé Gayford in a small, highly secure ceremony in Hawke’s Bay.
Expected attendees of Ardern’s wedding include Grant Robertson, former Labour Leader Andrew Little, Hipkins and Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard, The Post reported.
It’s almost a year to the day since Ardern announced she was leaving politics, telling Gayford, “let’s finally get married”.
Ardern and Gayford first met at a restaurant awards dinner in 2012 and were engaged during Easter 2019 with Gayford’s grandmother’s engagement ring.
A plan to wed in Gisborne in January 2022 was cancelled at the last minute when the country moved to red light Covid-19 restrictions.
The ceremony is understood to be small, with mostly family and very close friends and a few politicians.
The venue of McAnulty’s wedding wasn’t known, but as a Wairarapa local he might have swung for one of the region’s vineyards.
McAnulty became a Labour MP in 2017, before winning the Wairarapa seat in 2020.
He was unseated in the 2023 election, but remains in Parliament as a list MP.
He would not comment on what he described as a private matter, saying they had no desire for it to be reported.