Finance Minister Grant Robertson has called out a UK columnist as a "publicity seeking idiot" following a tweet critcising Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's response to the Sri Lanka terrorist attacks.
Outspoken columnist Katie Hopkins tweeted on Sunday saying she now expects Ardern to be "dressed as the Pope, ringing church bells across #NZ and praying in Latin in by noon".
The tweet was a clear dig at the Prime Minster following her decision to wear a hijab in support of Muslims after the Christchurch terrorist attack on March 15.
Mr Robertson told TVNZ1's Breakfast today that people like Ms Hopkins were not helping the issue of extremism towards religious groups.
"She's a publicity seeking idiot is what she is," he said. "She seems to have deliberately confused whether or not Jacinda Ardern is the Prime Minister of New Zealand or the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
"My view is that it doesn't matter if it's a mosque or if it's a Catholic church or anywhere else where people are worshipping, we should all be appalled by the fact that people in a very vulnerable position like that have been targetted.
"We've expressed our deep sympathy and our devastation to the people of Sri Lanka and offered our help. People like Katie Hopkins are not helping and don't deserve our time or our energy."
Ms Hopkin's tweeted with reference to Ms Ardern again this morning. She tweeted a photo of the Prime Minister in a hijab with the caption, "You are part of the fight back against the destruction of our Christian culture."