We ask male MPs about balancing their kids and career video

STUFF.CO.NZ

We ask male MPs what they think about Mark Richardson's questions to Jacinda Ardern on The AM Show this morning,

Mark Richardson created a storm of controversy this morning when he asked new Labour leader Jacinda Ardern if she was thinking of having babies while serving as Prime Minister.

Ardern answered the question for herself but said it was an absurdly sexist query for women in general.

She challenged Richardson to ask male politicians the same question: are you going to pick babies or politics?

Bill English: "There's always some degree of personal intrusion I suppose."
JOHN HAWKINS/STUFF

Bill English: "There's always some degree of personal intrusion I suppose."

He said he had asked male politicians the same thing.

READ MORE:
Michelle Duff: Asking Jacinda Ardern about babies is sexist, stupid and irrelevant 
Jacinda Ardern and Mark Richardson clash over questions about her baby plans
No, we don't need to know about Jacinda Ardern's baby plans. Ever.

We checked in with a bunch of male MPs on their way into Parliament to see if they've ever gotten asked to pick family or career.

Chris Hipkins: "There's a real double standard here."
Supplied

Chris Hipkins: "There's a real double standard here."

BILL ENGLISH, NATIONAL, 55, SIX CHILDREN

Has anyone ever asked you about it? "There's always some degree of personal intrusion I suppose." 

Is it appropriate to ask? "No I don't it is, I think it's entirely [Jacinda's] business. Politics is tough on families, it's tough on relationships."

James Shaw: "It's not okay to ask."
CHRIS SKELTON/STUFF

James Shaw: "It's not okay to ask."

CHRIS HIPKINS, LABOUR, 38, HAS A BABY BOY

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Has anyone ever asked you about it? "No, no one's even asked if whether I have children or whether having children has had any impact on my ability to do my job - it hasn't."

Is it appropriate to ask? "There's a real double standard here. No men are ever asked whether they can do a job because they have families, and no women should be either."

David Seymour: "I'm a male politician and get asked that all the time."
AMBER-LEIGH WOOLF/STUFF

David Seymour: "I'm a male politician and get asked that all the time."

JAMES SHAW, GREEN PARTY, 44, NO KIDS

Has anyone ever asked you about it? "Yes I have by about half a dozen different journalists."

Is it appropriate to ask? "It's not okay to ask."

Steven Joyce: "I can tell you as a father of two young children it's probably the hardest part of this job is living ...
JOHN BISSET/STUFF

Steven Joyce: "I can tell you as a father of two young children it's probably the hardest part of this job is living away from home."

DAVID SEYMOUR, ACT, 34, NO KIDS

Has anyone ever asked you about it? "I'm a male politician and get asked that all the time."

Is it appropriate? No - well not to judge her on it at least.

Nick Smith: "The reality of public life is you get all sorts of strange and wonderful questions."
MARION VAN DIJK/STUFF

Nick Smith: "The reality of public life is you get all sorts of strange and wonderful questions."

STEVEN JOYCE, NATIONAL, 54, TWO CHILDREN

Has anyone ever asked you about it? "I can't remember, I would have to check."

Is it appropriate? "Don't know, but I can tell you as a father of two young children it's probably the hardest part of this job is living away from home."

Chris Bishop: "No. I don't think it's legitimate."
SUPPLIED

Chris Bishop: "No. I don't think it's legitimate."

NICK SMITH, NATIONAL, 52, FOUR CHILDREN

Has anyone ever asked you about it? "I've been asked the question many many times, as a father, 'was I going to have children, if, when, when I had one was I going to have another one?'. The reality of public life is you get all sorts of strange and wonderful questions."

Is it appropriate? "As a politician you get asked all sorts of questions. I'm a politician who believes the real issues are about policy and the future of New Zealand and not people's private lives."

CHRIS BISHOP, NATIONAL, 33, NO KIDS

Has anyone ever asked you about it? "I think I have been asked before, certainly been asked by members of the public. Well look I'm 33, it comes up every now and then, we don't have kids yet, we will at some point."

Is it appropriate? "No. I don't think it's legitimate. People have kids or don't have kids for lots of different reasons, and I've been the subject of attack by people for not having kids, and I think it's pretty disgraceful behaviour really."

 - Stuff

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