Prime Minister Bill English says he wouldn't describe himself as a feminist and isn't bothered if his new Minister for Women does, either.
"I wouldn't describe myself as a feminist. I don't quite know what that means," English told reporters today after his new ministers were officially sworn-in at Wellington's Government House.
English was asked if he would call himself a feminist after new Women's Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett said on Radio New Zealand that she would claim that title "most days".
"I have some days when I don't even really think about it when I'm getting on and being busy," Bennett said, adding that she still got worked up by unfairness towards women and "that does make me a feminist".
English said he thought Bennett's example was the most important thing.
"She has such an inspiring story herself that everyday of the week she is achieving things and doing things which will be inspiring to a lot of, particularly younger, women who can see that we are in a country where there are no boundaries if they are able to do it, want to do it, they can get to do it.
"I wouldn't be too concerned about whether she is labelled one way or the other.
"I don't really mind if people call themselves a feminist or not a feminist...what really counts is what they do."
Previous Women's Minister Louise Upston was criticised by Opposition MPs for staying silent on some high-profile issues, and also copped flak for not calling herself a feminist.
Bennett said she asked for the portfolio because it would show the Government was taking women's rights seriously.