Paula Bennett asks Kelvin Davis 'how many neffs has he got off the couch?' in unemployment debate

Paula Bennett and Kelvin Davis sparred over unemployment in Parliament today.

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The Acting PM replied the Government has "got a lot of neffs off the couch." Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Davis is the Acting Prime Minister in the absence of Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.

Ms Bennett quizzed him on New Zealand's unemployment rate during question time this afternoon.

"Does he expect the unemployment rate to go up or down next week when the ANZ business outlook says a net six per cent of firms expect to cut jobs?" she asked.

"I expect it to stay close to the historic low levels that we've got right now," Mr Davis replied.

Ms Bennett then invoked the phrase "neffs" (a colloquial abbreviation of nephew) used by Shane Jones in 2017, asking: "Well how many neffs has he got off the couch, or are they now some of the more than 13,000 more people that are on the unemployment benefit?"

Mr Davis touted the Government's investment in the regions in his answer.

"We've got a lot of the neffs off the couch and with the Provincial Growth Fund we have invested in the regions, creating jobs and helping to reduce the unemployment levels as well."

The unemployment rate currently sits at 4.2 per cent, with new figures to be released on Tuesday.