Prime Minister John Key has brushed off suggestions Hobbit star Sir Ian McKellen is boycotting the film's premiere in protest at his "gay red shirt" gaffe.
Sir Ian - who plays wizard Gandalf the Great won't walk the red carpet at the glitzy bash next week. Earlier this month he reprimanded Key for his mocking of a radio presenter's red top.
Key said today: "I'd be amazed if that was the case."
The Prime Minister is in Cambodia - where his own striking fuchsia pink shirt caught the attention of US President Barack Obama at a gala dinner of world leaders.
He didn't choose the garb - it was allocated to him by Cambodia officials - but he didn't seem too keen on it yesterday. "My office gave them the measurements, but not the colour'.
Their conversation on the red-carpet "did start with the shirt, yes ... that could be another diplomatic incident that I can't afford," he said.
"Ï'm going to describe [the shirt] as fetching, which is broadly along the lines that the president described it as well.''
After Key's remarks, Sir Ian took to his blog telling Key to "watch his language".
- Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelt Sir Ian McKellen's last name as McKellan.