Bill English has admitted Nicky Wagner's controversial tweet failed to live up to the judgment expected of a Minister of his Government but he doesn't think it warrants her resignation.
In a tweet last week Ms Wagner wrote she'd "rather be out on the harbour" when she was "busy with disability meetings in Auckland".
In response to a question from Jack Tame on TVNZ 1's Breakfast, the PM agreed the Minister for Disability failed to live up to the “higher standard of judgement” expected of ministers.
"Yeah, she just made a mistake and she's accepted that and apologised and she needs to, in my view, get on with the vital work that she's doing in disability and not spend too much time being held back by this," Mr English said.
"Except for a few people in the so-called Twitter-sphere, no one believes Nicky Wagner set out to be offensive to people with disabilities," Mr English said.
"She's very committed to her work in disabilities, she's a great advocate, she has a lot of friends there. She's the best person to be their minister."
Mr English said Ms Wagner "wrote a tweet that could be misinterpreted, and it was".
"It sat there for three days before someone figured it out apparently. Politicians need to understand they are effectively always on live video," English said.