Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford had just landed a 40kg fish and thought that was the peak of his day.

Then he got in the water with a whale shark.

Gayford, in Rarotonga with Ardern on the final leg of her Pacific tour, was diving with the shark yesterday when it became "overly amorous", rolling and pinning him against a boat.

Clarke Gayford with a 40kg yellowfin tuna. Photo/ @NZClarke/Twitter
Clarke Gayford with a 40kg yellowfin tuna. Photo/ @NZClarke/Twitter

"On any other day landing a 40kg yellowfin tuna would be the day's peak," the Herald on Sunday's fishing columnist tweeted.


"Getting accidentally rolled and pinned against a boat today by an overly amorous whale shark mic-drops that."

Clarke, who hosts TV programme Fish of the Day, is an avid fisherman and has no shortage of fishing adventures.

Several years ago the 39-year-old nearly died in Niue while freediving.

He had speared a larger-than-expected dogtooth tuna, which dragged him further into the depths of the Pacific.

After a few minutes underwater, 30m down and running out of breath, he desperately swam to the surface, but blacked out mere metres away.

Fortunately, his friends were there to haul him out of the water just as he was coming to.