New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has been left unable to answer a simple question posed by veteran journalist at a press conference in Wellington today.
The Platform NZ journalist, Sean Plunkett asked the prime minister "how do you, and how does this government, define a woman" which sent PM Hipkins into a spin.
"To be honest Sean, that question has come slightly out of left field ... for me," the PM said scrambling for words.
"The ... well, biology, sex, gender, ummm ... people define themselves, people define their own genders," he added with long pauses between answers.
"I wasn't expecting that question so it's not something I've pre-formulated an answer on. But in terms of gender identity, I think people define their gender identity for themselves."
Plunkett then asked about which views women's rights advocate Kellie-Jay Keen, also known as Posie Parker, had that were 'abhorrent'.
"I think some of the views being conveyed around the transgender community, some of the sentiment ... some of the sentiment that she has expressed towards the transgender community is abhorrent," he said.
When asked to clarify which specific views, the PM responded, "that they shouldn't exist".
Keen, who lead the Let Women Speak rallies in Australia and New Zealand, was one of the women assaulted by transgender activists after the even turned violent forcing Keen to abandon her NZ tour.
Women who attended the event in support of Keen were also physically assaulted, with shocking footage emerging of an elderly woman being ruthlessly punched by a much younger bearded transgender activist.
The incident sparked outrage on social media, with #ShameOnNewZealand trending on Twitter as people around the world expressed shock at the intolerance of differing opinions and lack of free speech in the country.
Hipkins last week refused to guarantee that police will track down violent protestors who assaulted women at Auckland’s Let Women Speak rally on the weekend.