Winston Peters and Gerry Brownlee traded zingers in the House today during a debate on shovel ready projects in Auckland.
The exchange came after a question by National's Deputy Leader Nikki Kaye to Mr Peters, who was answering on behalf of the Prime Minister.
“Why won’t the Government after multiple requests from the Auckland Council confirm which shovel ready projects it’s funding so they can set their budget and their rates?” she asked.
“That’s a marvellous question,” Mr Peters began before an interjection from Mr Brownlee saw him turn his attention to the National MP.
“Well I know something, that member’s never seen a shovel,” he said, drawing laughs from his colleagues before adding, “and it shows".
"I mean anybody who has done any physical work, they keep that shape all their lives.”
Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard then stepped in and made Mr Peters withdraw and apologise for his comments.
“He might have started the interjection, but he didn’t take it down to that level,” the Speaker admonished Mr Peters.
Mr Brownlee then stepped up and delivered a well-received quip of his own.
“Mr Speaker, I feel obliged to say that I have kept my shape all my life,” he said, getting laughs and even applause from both sides of the political divide.
“I fear he’s got me there,” Mr Peters conceded before the more serious business continued.
Watch the two veteran MPs going toe-to-toe in the video above.