An Iranian agricultural delegation has refused to shake the hand of New Zealand's female counterpart, Labour MP Jo Luxton.
In return, at least one male Labour MP refused to shake hands with the delegation.
Ms Luxton told NZME the incident made her feel uncomfortable but said she understands she deals with issues of cultural difference as an MP.
She was meeting the delegation as deputy chair of the Primary Production select committee.
Two of Ms Luxton's colleagues Kieran McAnulty and Rino Tirikatene leapt to Ms Luxton's defence.
Mr McAnulty refused to shake hands with the delegation in solidarity with Ms Luxton.
"I was appalled to witness my friend & colleague @joluxx be advised not to approach & shake hands with an Iranian delegation meeting with us today. I refused to shake their hands in support of Jo. It's unacceptable that such an instruction can be made of any woman in this country," Mr McAnulty wrote on Twitter.