When she raised the goal that the problem was of particular concern to youthful generations that may truly be alive to see the injury wrought by prior generations, an vague heckle rose from the viewers.
"In the year 2050 I will be 56 years old... yet, right now, the average of this 52nd Parliament is 49-years old", she continued.
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Let our news meet your inbox. When she was heckled, she casually dropped a sharp-tongued retort - "OK boomer" - and, unfazed, ongoing chatting amid the puzzlement and silence of the area.
It's already sparked a thousand memes and think pieces, and now "OK boomer" has officially been recorded in New Zealand's Hansard.
A "boomer" is short for baby boomer - the phrase used to describe those born between 1946 and 1964.
Explaining why she used the phrase in a text message to Stuff, Ms Swarbrick said it was a It's a "simple summarisation of collective exhaustion". Swarbrick went on to accept that "you can't win a deeply polarized debate - specifics don't issue". "It's higher to acknowledge that maybe power is healthier spent elsewhere".
New Zealand's Parliament TV wasn't in on the joke, either.
The parliament's social media workforce later tweeted a tongue-in-cheek apology: "We apologise for the mistake, and have current the captions accordingly". An official transcript of the hearing correctly records Swarbrick's comment.
If you're under the age of, say, 20, that's probably the only explanation you're going to need.
The phrase stirred controversy in the US recently after conservative radio host Bob Lonsberry called it "the n-word of ageism" in a since-deleted tweet, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. She has also been accused of ageism.
Writing on Facebook after her comment went viral, Ms Swarbrick wrote: 'Today I have learnt that responding succinctly and in flawless jest to somebody heckling you about *your ageyour generation* with the literal title of their generation makes some people very mad. "Younger individuals have suffered a decade of jibes about how millennials have ruined every little thing and must 'pull our socks up, ' or one thing".