Gerry Brownlee has copped a bollocking on social media for telling off a frustrated Kaikoura local yesterday when visiting the quake-ravaged area.
The Acting Civil Defence Minister said he was "pissed off" after a local man accused the Government of not doing enough.
The reaction on the 1 NEWS Facebook page has not been in favour of Mr Brownlee, with one outraged woman saying it's "not a good look for a Member of Parliament" and another said he could have showed more "understanding and empathy".
Mr Brownlee was touring the north Canterbury town yesterday alongside Bill English, on his first official visit to Kaikoura as the new Prime Minister.
The heated exchange
Clarence farmer John Murray told Mr English: "We've sat down there for three weeks and nothing has bloody well happened and it's shocking. It's the absolute pits".
"Nothing has been done except patch things up and I reckon it's piss poor. I'm afraid you have lost a lot of votes and a lot of confidence in this area," Mr Murray said.
Mr Brownlee stood his ground, responding, "From our perspective it's not easy. Sorry you're frustrated, but I'm pissed off you took that attitude quite frankly".
"NZTA have not been sitting on their backsides doing nothing. Quite frankly I'm going to tell you I resent your comments deeply," he said.
Social media backlash
1 NEWS followers have hit back at the way Mr Brownlee handled the frustrated local's comments on the 1 NEWS Facebook page.
Here's a sample of their comments reacting to video of the exchange:
"Not a good look for a Member of Parliament to be talking to the victims of a major disaster like that! Totally unprofessional behaviour, by Gerry Brownlee!" wrote Marissa Kelly.
"You could have dealt with that with understanding and empathy for the plight these people are in Gerry! I am not impressed with the outburst," wrote Anne Beal.
"Wow. Gerry Brownlee is pissed off?! Try living here! Unless you have the money to fly out (on the weekends) we are literally cut off from the rest of the world," wrote Myra Timms.
"What a wonderful way to endear himself to a village of people that have had nothing but stress and anxiety. What a pillock," wrote William Creighton.
"He reminds me of Muldoon [former Prime Minister] and his bully boy ways," Mr Creighton continued.
"How about you live in Kaikoura and see how the locals go from day to day?" wrote Rebakah Noffke.
Sympathy for Gerry Brownlee
The majority of comments were critical of Mr Brownlee but a few showed some sympathy for the way the Government is handling the fallout from the magnitude 7.8 earthquake.
"God you guys are a bunch of grislers. Go to Syria then you would see real hardship Brownlee sick of all the grizzling he working as hard as can be expected of anybody," wrote Raewyn Callaghan.
"Four weeks out I reckon they've done bloody well. It's not a straight easy road it's challenging and mountainous," wrote Allie Stanton, referring to the massive task of rebuilding the roads that give access to the town.
"I think they have done remarkably well with work on SH1 south of Kaikoura looking at being open with controlled access before Christmas," wrote Jaeden Berkett.