Labour leader David Shearer has labelled John Tamihere a “shock jock” and says recent inflammatory comments by the radio host would be unacceptable from a member of his caucus.
Mr Tamihere yesterday labelled 3 News reporter Tova O’Brien a “stupid little girl” after she asked if he was a sexist, misogynist or homophobe.
The comments came just a day after he told the Herald on Sunday that Social Development Minister Paula Bennet was a “bloody fat girl”.
Mr Shearer has today responded to the former Labour MPs comments, saying he was out of line.
“But he is also a shock jock, this is what he does for a living,” he told the New Zealand Herald.
“That doesn't excuse what he said, but that is, in some sense, what he is paid to do."
Mr Tamihere rejoined the Labour Party only two days ago, after stepping down from his Government portfolios in 2005, over a scandal which involved fraud.
He was under severe criticism for sexist comments about female leaders at the time.
Mr Shearer would not say if he believed Mr Tamihere was suitable to stand for Labour as an MP, saying that would have to be decided by the party selection processes.