New Zealand apologizes to Gillard for bus gaffe

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard received an apology from New Zealand officials after a driver refused to let her get on a bus with other leaders during the Pacific Islands forum, and instead told her to get on the spouses' bus.

In Auckland last week for the forum, Ms Gillard was among the leaders and their partners traveling from a hotel to the waterfront.

There was one bus for leaders and the other for spouses, for security reasons. Ms Gillard, Australia’s first female Prime Minister was directed to the spouse’s bus by a bus driver.

He was later informed of the mistake and Ms Gillard was allowed onto the leaders bus, according to a report in the Age newspaper.

According to The Age, the driver was not used again during the forum and an apology was offered to Ms Gillard.

Ms Gillard reportedly did not take appear to be offended by the incident and was seen joking about the gaffe with her partner, Tim Mathieson, according to news website ninemsn.

The forum appears unused to female leaders. An MC at the opening ceremony told partners of leaders to "come up and meet your husbands.”