Answering questions from reporters, the leaders criticised suggestions their meeting only took place because they were both young women

Jacinda Ardern and Finland’s PM have slammed claims their first face-to-face meeting in New Zealand happened just because they are both young female leaders.

Finland’s Sanna Marin, 36, met with Ms Ardern, 42, in New Zealand on Wednesday morning before they held a joint press conference at Auckland’s Government House. 

Answering questions from reporters, they criticised suggestions their meeting only took place because they were both young women. 

‘We’re meeting because we are prime ministers,’ Ms Marin said, in a frosty response. 

Ms Ardern added: ‘I wonder whether or not anyone ever asked Barack Obama and John Key if they met because they were of similar age?

‘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.’ 

Ms Marin will fly to Australia on Thursday before meeting with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and speaking at the Lowy Institute on Friday. 

Answering questions from reporters, the leaders criticised suggestions their meeting only took place because they were both young women

Answering questions from reporters, the leaders criticised suggestions their meeting only took place because they were both young women

Ms Marin was in New Zealand for her first official tour, which is also the first visit to the country by a Finnish prime minister.

Ms Marin’s visit comes after she was dubbed the ‘party PM’ when a leaked video showed her partying in clubs last August.

The controversy culminated in her taking a drug test – which came back completely negative. 

Ms Marin said she had made a ‘special request’ to visit New Zealand and hoped her visit would bring their ‘already excellent relations to the next level’. 

After a meeting between the two leaders, Ms Ardern said she was happy the two nations had similar values.

‘Our countries are aligned on incredibly important issues – we share a strong commitment to democratic values as the basis for open, tolerant, resilient, equal societies, and to multilateralism and a rules-based order that has underpinned global peace and prosperity since 1945,’ she said. 

Discussing the Ukraine issue, Ms Ardern added: ‘The conflict though, I am aware, is literally on Finland’s doorstep and I appreciated the prime minister’s insightful perspectives on the war, and of course, the enduring impact it may have on Europe and global security.’

Ms Marin was in New Zealand for her first official tour, which is also the first visit to the country by a Finnish prime minister

Ms Marin was in New Zealand for her first official tour, which is also the first visit to the country by a Finnish prime minister

After a meeting between the two leaders, Ms Ardern said in a statement: 'Our countries are aligned on incredibly important issues'

After a meeting between the two leaders, Ms Ardern said in a statement: ‘Our countries are aligned on incredibly important issues’

They also raised the issue of women’s human rights, with Ms Ardern citing Iran as an example of women across the world facing ‘dire circumstances’ where basic rights are ‘repressed and violated’. 

Ms Marin will leave New Zealand on Thursday as she prepares for a whirlwind tour of Australia.

Earlier this month, she was cleared of misconduct following an official inquiry into the partying video. 

Scores of complaints were filed to Finland’s chancellor of justice, Tuomas Pöysti, after Ms Marin was shown dancing and partying with friends and celebrities, which made headlines around the world.

But the chancellor, an independent office responsible for overseeing the legality of government activities and to which any citizen can lodge complaints, concluded that Marin had not neglected her duties as prime minister.

Pöysti said that there was ‘no reason to suspect the prime minister of unlawful conduct in the performance of her duties or of neglect of her official duties’.

Footage emerged on social media of Sanna Marin partying

Footage emerged on social media of Sanna Marin partying

At the time of the scandal, Marin said she spent ‘an evening with friends’ and that the videos were ‘filmed in private premises’. Complaints to the chancellor alleged that Marin was unfit to work ‘due to alcohol consumption’ and claimed her behaviour was inappropriate for a prime minister

In August, Marin took a drug test, which was negative, to clear up any suspicion voiced by some that comments heard on the video referred to narcotics - something heavily debated on social media and strongly denied by the prime minister

In August, Marin took a drug test, which was negative, to clear up any suspicion voiced by some that comments heard on the video referred to narcotics – something heavily debated on social media and strongly denied by the prime minister

The backlash over the incident led to several prominent female political figures around the world showing their support for Marin. Hillary Clinton tweeted a message of support along with a picture of herself dancing

The backlash over the incident led to several prominent female political figures around the world showing their support for Marin. Hillary Clinton tweeted a message of support along with a picture of herself dancing

At the time of the scandal, Ms Marin said she spent ‘an evening with friends’ and that the videos were ‘filmed in private premises’.

‘I am human. And I too sometimes long for joy, light and fun amidst these dark clouds,’ she said.

Complaints to the chancellor alleged that Ms Marin was unfit to work ‘due to alcohol consumption’, claimed her behaviour was inappropriate for a prime minister and that she undermined Finland’s ‘reputation and security’.

But the chancellor said the complaints failed to establish that Ms Marin had omitted or jeopardised a ‘specific official duty’.

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