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MP Chlöe Swarbrick butts heads with Parliament colleague who called Covid-19 signs ‘propaganda’

National MP Simon O’Connor argued in Parliament today that Covid-19 restrictions, signs advocating kindness and signs telling people where to walk amount to "propaganda".

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Swarbrick tweeted a response to Simon O’Connor’s comments in the house about Covid-19 restrictions and advice being “a form of propaganda”. Source: 1 NEWS

It prompted Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick to say, "You couldn’t make this up."

The Tamaki MP told the House today that much of the local economy in his electorate was driven by hospitality, particular on Tamaki Drive, and those businesses were made to struggle by New Zealand remaining in Alert Level 2.

"Those cafes and restaurants continue to struggle with what has basically become rather arbitrary rules," he said.

Mr O’Connor went on to point out that the Black Lives Matter protest in Auckland on Monday saw thousands gather in the CBD while restaurants were still under restrictions.

He also called it "ludicrous" that were still gathering restrictions on places of worship including churches, mosques and synagogues.

"We’re continuing in this line in some ways to be puppets pulled by strings around all these continued levels and discussions and rules," he said.

"You can’t walk down the street without having to see signs about kindness and calmness, signs on the street telling me to keep left.

"In fact, even in this building there are signs on this stairwell telling me how to walk up some stairs.

"We’re beginning to live in some bizarre dystopian...world, and it needs to stop, it is simply a form of propaganda and it’s just completely unnecessary.

"I’ve been calling for a while for us to return to normal on the fundamental principle that New Zealanders are smart, intelligent people and we know how to manage our lives and we’ve had enough of the Government constantly telling us how to do this.

"As I said at the start, the left in particular love a crisis because it allows them to justify getting into every aspect of our lives."

The comments prompted a response from an apparently disbelieving Ms Swarbrick on Twitter.

"There’s legit a Nat MP in the house right now declaring that 'keep left' signs (ie the same side of the road we drive on) for physical distancing are dangerous left wing propaganda. You couldn’t make this up," she wrote.

Her criticism continued in the comments on her initial tweet.

"After he berated me for talking about the fact that we can house the homeless quickly in a crisis so can and should do so normally and attempted to link that to my supposedly advocating for a dictatorship, or something," she wrote.

Mr O'Connor told 1 NEWS he had no further comment following Ms Swarbrick's tweet.