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Prime ministers Jacinda Ardern and Sanna Marin deny meeting because they’re ‘both women of a similar age’

Jacinda Ardern and Sanna Marin have rejected the claim of a male journalist that their meeting was only arranged because they are both young, female prime ministers.

The respective leaders of New Zealand and Finland were quizzed at a press conference in Auckland by a man reporting from Kiwi station Newstalk ZB.

The reporter, who can be heard but not seen in the clip, asked: "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, 42, asked the unidentified man: “I wonder whether or not anyone ever asked Barack Obama and John Key if they met because they were of similar age." The two former leaders were born within days of each other in 1961.

Sanna Marin and Jacinda Adern are five years apart in age... But former US president Barack Obama and New Zealand PM John Key were five days apart (Getty Images)
Sanna Marin and Jacinda Adern are five years apart in age... But former US president Barack Obama and New Zealand PM John Key were five days apart (Getty Images)

Ms Marin, 37, said: “We are meeting because we are prime ministers.”

Her counterpart, Ms Adern, then added: “We, of course, have a higher proportion of men in politics, it's reality. Because two women meet, it is not simply because of their gender."

"It's our job to further [them], regardless of our gender," she said of the opportunities for both nations.

The question provoked some backlash on social media, with Kiwi reporter Ben McKay of rival network AAP, tweeting that Ms Adern’s reply was a “complete killshot”.

Ms Marin, on her first official tour, is the first Finnish prime minister to visit New Zealand.

The two discussed the international economic downturn, the situation in Iran, as well as the cost of living crisis.

Of Iran, Ms Marin said: “I worry about the situation in Iran right now ... the brave women that are protesting against the laws and the security situation of women in Iran, we need to address these kinds of issues together.”