Tony or Toni? Google Searches Skyrocketed After Outgoing NZ PM Hard-Launched His New Partner

While Australians spent last night following the results of the Voice To Parliament referendum, our friends across the Tasman were watching their own election results flow in, with one moment catching viewers off guard.

Yep, those listening to outgoing Prime Minister Chris Hipkins‘ concession speech last night you may have found themselves wondering – did he just come out?

“There is someone else I want to thank tonight, someone that most of you won’t know, and that is my partner, Toni (or Tony, who knows),” he said.

“Being Prime Minister isn’t the only special thing that has happened to me this year and I want to thank you for being with me every step of the way.”

But people quickly began to ask, was that with an ‘i’ or a ‘y’? Kiwis on social media called out their parents for making “several huge leaps of boomer logic”.

Searches for Tony and Toni skyrocketed after the speech, with Google Trends showing a huge surge in traffic just before 8pm last night.

But any confusion was quickly cleared up by New Zealand TV hosts Samantha Hayes and Ryan Bridge – he was in fact thanking his new girlfriend Toni.

“Hey one thing we should clarify as we’ve had a lot of questions coming in, when he in his speech said thank you to his partner Toni – because it’s a name that could either be a man or a woman – people were confused, but we’ve had confirmation that he was talking about a woman,” Hayes said on TV3.

“It’s a woman,” said Bridge. “For a moment there I was wondering, is he…?”

We haven’t yet seen a picture of his new partner, but New Zealand is a small place so most of the country probably know her already.