Chris Hipkins shows off 'spread your legs' mug at COVID-19 press conference

Chris Hipkins has taken a lighthearted and humorous approach to his "spread your legs" gaffe by turning up to the 1pm press conference with a mug emblazoned with the meme.

The COVID-19 Response Minister became the talk of social media two weeks ago when he told the nation he understood it was difficult to "spread" your legs during lockdown if you're living in a high-density area.

His slip of the tongue quickly made its way online, with Kiwis sharing memes, TikToks and tweets about the unfortunate phrase. They loved it so much #spreadyourlegs was trending on Twitter.

Now, Hipkins has taken part in the joke after beginning Wednesday's COVID-19 update showing off his new mug.

"Little bit of water first," he says, before taking a sip out of the mug that has his face on it and says "spread your legs, not the virus".

Hipkins appeared rather chuffed with his pre-press conference joke and was smiling to himself as he sat his mug back down and began the daily COVID-19 update.

Chris Hipkins shows off 'spread your legs' mug at COVID-19 press conference
Photo credit: Newshub / Piper's Boutique

Twitter users found it amusing he brought out a piece of merchandise with his meme on it.

"I love @chrishipkins mug. It's classic. And I love how we can all just have a little joke. A bit of light relief in the world we live in," one person says.

"+15 new cases today, all in Auckland. Also this just happened. @chrishipkins What a lad," another says.

The online store behind the mug, Piper's Boutique NZ, was pleased their item was featured in the 1pm update.

"How cool is this," they wrote in a Facebook post.

Hipkins' blunder has not only inspired mugs, but also a personalised plate and DJ remixes. Kiwis are also adopting it colloquially in what could be the catchphrase of the pandemic.