Two pussies in parliament


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Labour MP Phil Twyford has apologised on Twitter after Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett bailed him up as sexist for making a cat claw gesture at her in Parliament.

Mr Twyford made the gesture indicating Ms Bennett was catty after Ms Bennett said he appeared to be struggling to understand her answers to his questions about housing.

Ms Bennett immediately reacted, saying she hoped it was on tape “because that was really nice towards the women in the House.”

She added sarcastically “I’m sure you’d do that to a man, wouldn’t you?”

The exchange then moved to Twitter, Mr Twyford was initially unrepentant, tweeting in response to one questioner that it was “entirely appropriate.”

“Entirely appropriate, to someone who wears so much leopard print, and is quick to show her claws.”

However, after several tweets criticised him Mr Twyford issued an apology: “Alright @paulabennettmp I plead guilty in the court of twitter. Sorry for the claws.”

Ms Bennett said in reply to a tweet about it that another Opposition MP had called out ‘meow.”

Harden up, both of you.


This is parliament, not a kindy playground.   If you want to go around dressing like a pussy, then own it, and don’t fake some sort of distress on behalf of all women.

And Phil, if you accuse someone of being a pussy, then don’t withdraw and apologise.  Hand in your man card for giving in to a bunch of hypocrites.


– NZ Herald


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  • BooHooNotMyFault

    This faux outrage stuff makes me sick. Grow a pair – both of you.

    • Billythekid

      Paula’s most definitely got a pair, albeit just below the top floor !

  • cows4me

    And todays parliamentary session is kindly sponsored by Bubbles Early Leaning Centre.

  • RobT

    Surely we can’t be serious when we suggest this lady is a future leader for National..groan/shudder!

  • Morgy

    I was really hoping Paula’s response was going to be “Who cares….doesn’t bother me”. Damn.

  • BJ

    I’m disappointed in Paula. Seeing what she was wearing and what she drives to work, it is quite feasible he was referring to all her feline tendencies. She is usually one of the more mature woman politician’s in her dialogue, albeit cutting some that deserve it down to size at times. However her response is unrealistically defensive on this occasion.

  • Catriona

    Wouldn’t mind betting Paula will lay off the leopard print for a while.
    What’s wrong with it guys?

    • dgrogan

      No amount of dressing that one up would do it for me, sorry, C. But I do admire her work ethic.

  • Eiselmann

    Applying the Larpers standard here…Phil Twyford is a racist for darng to pass judgement on a Maori woman’s choice of fashion. I just know the MSM will pick that up, yeah right.

  • understater

    I wonder if Paula would be equally offended if two male members of the house were accused of “butting heads”.

  • The2Game

    Sorry but I can’t too upset about what the female Members of Parliament wear in the House…

    I couldn’t find too much wrong with Aunty Helen’s penchant for pantsuits (they suited her, if you’ll forgive the pathetic pun) or for both the Greens co-leader and Judith Collins and their expensive designer outfits … so I sure as hell ain’t gonna whinge at Paula Bennett’s obsession with pawprint clothing.

    Each to their own!

    Why not go the full hog and simply make Parliament a mufti zone!