Jacinda Ardern denies Mark Richardson's request to become minister of giving 'the bird' to people who get easily offended

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has rejected a request by The AM Show co-host Mark Richardson to become minister of "the bird".

Speaking on Monday, Richardson said he was keen to take up the role, which would involve assessing people's requests and giving them "the bird", otherwise known as the middle finger and often used as an offensive hand gesture.

The discussion came following a debate over whether mufti day should be renamed. An Upper Hutt School changed mufti day - which refers to a non-uniform day - to "be yourself day" after a student questioned whether the term "mufti" was culturally sensitive. 

That came after Canterbury University historian Katie Pickles last year called for mufti day to be renamed in an article for The Spinoff - explaining the term "mufti" was historically used to describe a Muslim cleric.

"I was thinking I could solve a lot of the world's issues ... When I'm in Government, I think I'd like to become the minister for the bird. So [when] things like this come across my desk, and I assess them, and I respond by giving people the bird," Richardson said of the name change.

"If she [Ardern] will create a position for me in her Government, as minister for the bird, I'll switch allegiances," said Richardson, a staunch National supporter.

Asked by co-host Amanda Gillies if she would accept Richardson into her Cabinet, Ardern burst into laughter.

"No," she said. 

"It's a generous offer. It's a very generous offer."

But Richardson insisted he'd take the role seriously.

"I won't just willy nilly pull the bird on people, alright? I will think through the issues and it will be a science-based approach."

Host Duncan Garner asked Ardern if she'd take the proposal to her Cabinet for discussion.

"I feel like I know my Cabinet well," she joked back.