It's the question of the week.

What are your plans for children, do you want kids, will you have kids, or a variation of the aforementioned and, oh my God, all hell breaks loose.

There are two parts to the question of whether it should have been asked of the new Labour leader.

You might have noticed I didn't raise the subject at all. Why? Because it wasn't remotely important enough or relevant enough on day one of a job that had vastly more matters to be discussed, like policy and polls and the future of the party in an election seven weeks away.


So you could perhaps argue the timing of the question was inappropriate. And given the timing was inappropriate, it gave rise to the massive amount of fall-out that ensued.

Much of the fall-out was coming anyway. Because it came from people who live for fall-out, driven largely by angst and an incredibly small existence.

But the second part is the question or the subject in itself. In the appropriate setting, at the right time, is asking a female Prime Ministerial aspirant about potential pregnancy or child birth appropriate? And in this case the answer is unquestionably yes. Why? Because the Prime Minister's role is unique.

It must be remembered Jacinda Ardern raised the issue herself. She stated publicly and voluntarily, that she didn't want to be leader because she wanted children first. As a result of Tuesday, that's clearly changed and, as a result of the change and a result of the fact that the Prime Minister's job is a 24/7 existence - unlike any other job in the country - it thus becomes a fair question.

Also, very importantly, Ardern said, once again voluntarily, she wasn't bothered by the question. If she isn't bothered, then why is anyone else? If the person at the centre of the debate is fine, why do we angst on her behalf?

The inference of the question was hopelessly misconstrued, because the response was driven by emotional agendas, not common sense. The question is not about "being" pregnant, and whether you can be with child and do the job. It's about maternity leave.

Prime Minister's don't have the luxury of taking six months or a year off to give birth and be at home. Critics might say "but she won't take six months off" but we don't know that unless the question is asked. And given the whole idea of a female elected leader giving birth is, as far as I know, unheard of in the Western world, it's hardly surprising there's a question pending on the subject.

And that's before you get to the simple truth: right or wrong Prime Ministers, public life and elected officials are an open book. If we can't handle a question, God knows what we do when something serious happens.