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MP 'mortified' by offence over Hitler comments

Wednesday 27 Jun 2012 6:01 p.m.

By Political Editor Duncan Garner

Labour MP Megan Woods has apologised for likening Prime Minister John Key’s campaign on asset sales to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler.

She has admitted her comments were extreme.

Labour leader David Shearer was out getting signatures for the referendum against asset sales today, but his efforts were overshadowed by silly comments from first-term MP Megan Woods.

“I’ve had a word, she's apologised,” Mr Shearer says. “She's mortified she's caused offence.”

Ms Woods likened Mr Key's campaign to sell assets to Nazi Germany in a tweet.

"Hitler had a pretty clear manifesto that he campaigned and won on. Question: does this make what he did ok?”

Today she apologised.

"My comments yesterday were said in heat and were extreme and I apologise."

Mr Shearer says the referendum is what’s important.

“It's taken attention away from the real issue and what we're trying to do on the streets.”

And on asset sales, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has made a new bottom line policy. He says if National or Labour need him to after the next election, he will force the buy back of the sold assets - as his price.

It's a $7 billion promise.

“We are prepared to look at the Cullen fund, the Super fund and look at the other options to buy those assets back,” Mr Peters says. “If they don't want to look at those options, they will be in Opposition.”

But Mr Shearer is not sure if it will happen.

“The bottom line for me is that I can't put my hand on my heart and say we can buy them back.”

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman agrees.

“Promising to come up with $7 billion is pretty challenging.”

Mr Key disapproves of the suggestion.

“That's pretty silly, but it's standard Winston Peters.”

New Zealand First is the only party promising to buy back the assets. Neither the Greens nor Labour want to go anywhere near it. It's something Mr Peters can say in Opposition, but his potential coalition partners don't think it’s credible or even vaguely possible.

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