With the general election campaign kicking off in a matter of months, Paula Bennett has reminded Shane Jones to keep things civil on TVNZ 1 Breakfast’s Political Panel today.
NZ First's Mr Jones told John Campbell a lot is at stake this year, and that Campbell shouldn’t be surprised that politicians from “time to time go at each other”.
Mr Jones then had a go at National Party leader Simon Bridges, in particular, his hair and so-called distraction tactics.
“Simon’s arrived impersonating some sort of leader,” Mr Jones said while sitting in TVNZ's Wellington studio alongside National's deputy leader Paula Bennett.
“I have to say Paula, when I looked at Simon yesterday he’s obviously had training and that thing that he’s got going on with his hair mate it looked from a shampoo bar or something ... he has to do something to distract,” he said.
“I doubt he’ll actually be the leader by the time we get to election.”
Ms Bennett then interjected by saying she didn’t think politicians should be "nasty", like Mr Jones had about Mr Bridges’ hair, but sometimes it was warranted.
“Let’s give a damn about this country, let's have a contest of ideas and let's get a bit stuck in,” said Ms Bennett.
“We are fighting for the direction that we are going and that matters.”
When quizzed about keeping politics ethical, in light of some of National’s social media ads being dubbed misleading, Ms Bennett said it’s about being careful.
“Our politicians are held to I think a higher standard and, they should be, and we do have a process for checking what we are doing,” she said.