New Zealand’s Prime Minister – who was in office when equal marriage was introduced – has been booed off stage at a pride event in Auckland.

John Key also found himself being ‘glitter-bombed’ by protesters at the Big Gay Out, part of the Auckland Pride Festival.

It was claimed the response came from opponents to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement trade deal, which New Zealand has just signed.

11 Asian and Pacific countries, including Australia and the United States, signed the deal and many fear it will lead to an erosion of national sovereignty to the benefit of transnational corporations.

The protesters booed and shouted at Key and held up placards, one of which read “capitalism is climate change, war and pollution.”

One tried to climb over a security barrier but was pushed back while another was handcuffed and taken away by police.

The Prime Minister dismissed the reaction from some among the crowd as just the actions of activists from the Green and Mana Parties.

He said: “The funny thing was gay and lesbian rights activists have worked really hard, campaigned hard, for an extension of their rights over the years, and I voted for gay marriage.

“On the ground that feeling was stronger than any other time I’d been there,” he added.

“They were hijacked by a really small group wearing Mana t-shirts and Green Party badges and all this sort of stuff.

“The big banner that was held behind them had the Green Party logo.

The people were hijacking a sort of fun day out for people as they were trying to celebrate their sexuality.”

New Zealand’s LGBT community is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality this year and its 17th Big Gay Out.

Last month, it was reported that Key’s government had refused to pardon historic gay sex convictions because rapist had been tried under the same laws.