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Baby Ella arrives at 12.01am in 2017

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/01/2017

A mother holding a baby © Getty Images A mother holding a baby Baby Ella, born at 12.01am at Taranaki Base Hospital, looks hard to beat as the first baby born this year.

"It is pretty exciting to think that Ella might be the first baby born in New Zealand and possibly the world in 2017," mum Sarah Whitehead says.

"It will definitely be a good story to tell her when she is older."

She and husband Lewis are delighted with the new addition to the family who has already met her two-year-old brother Max.

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