Coronavirus: Chris Hipkins wins quote of the year at The Project awards for his 'spread your legs' gaffe

COVID-19 Response minister Chris Hipkins won 'quote of the year' at The Project's 2021 awards on Friday. 

Hipkins was nominated for his "spread your legs'' quote he made at a 1pm COVID press conference during the Delta outbreak. 

Hipkins had the country in stitches back in August, when he said it would be a "challenge for people in high-density areas to get outside and spread their legs when they are surrounded by other people". 

The gaffe amused Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, whose eyebrows immediately shot up. 

In September, Hipkins was seen drinking from a mug commemorating the memorable phrase, reading "spread your legs, not the virus".

Fitting to the quote, Hipkins had a funny response to receiving news that he won the award.

"Hi everybody, sorry I can't be there in person, but thank you so much for the award," he told The Project.

"I've been spreading myself thin around the country just lately so can't be there in person. We are now in the traffic light system so I hope everybody gets the opportunity over Christmas to get out there and stretch their legs."

He was nominated alongside Boris Johnson, who was briefly left lost for words before providing an anecdote about his recent visit to a Peppa Pig theme park; Kiwi weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, when she responded to controversy after competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics; Australian senator Jacqui Lambie; after she ripped into people opposing the COVID vaccine; New Zealand rugby star Ruby Tui for her hilarious comments after the Black Ferns came from 21-0 down against Britain at the Olympics; and a Kiwi toddler's foul-mouthed response to a stray goat in the garden that went viral.

The other categories at The Project awards were hero of the year (Amit Nand), COVID moment of the year (August 17 Delta lockdown), goodest dog (All the goodest dogs), best Kiwi character (Sione Fifita and Fatima Lui), best Project live moment (The temporary 'Laura Tupou Show'), best of the daily dose (@Ally_Kat93), best mention of New Zealand by a foreigner (60 Minutes Australia) and best scene of New Zealand (Potato and Neighvy).