The leaders of New Zealand and Finland have dismissed a journalist’s suggestion that they arranged a meeting because they are “similar in age”. At a press conference in Auckland, Finland’s Sanna Marin and New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern said they met because they are prime ministers, not because they are both young, female leaders.
A male journalist from New Zealand radio network Newstalk ZB asked about the reason for the talks, saying: “A lot of people will be wondering are you two meeting just because you’re similar in age and got a lot of common stuff there.” Ms Ardern interrupted the question to say that she wondered “whether or not anyone ever asked Barack Obama and John Key if they met because they were of similar age.”
The journalist’s question provoked some backlash on social media. Many Twitter users labelled it sexist, while one New Zealand journalist called Ms Ardern’s response a “killshot”.