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Tamihere comment targets hit back

Monday 3 Dec 2012 5:27 p.m.

Within hours of being allowed back into the Labour Party, John Tamihere was already shooting his mouth off, calling the Social Development Minister "that bloody fat girl".

It has forced Paula Bennett's arch-rival to stand with the minister and other women in the Labour Party to condemn Mr Tamihere, with Ms Bennett herself slinging mud right back.

Carmel Sepuloni lost the Waitakere electorate to Ms Bennett by just nine votes last election. Now she's empathising with her rival after Mr Tamihere called the minister "that bloody fat girl".

“At the end of the day I'm a plus-size girl myself, so I don't have anything to say about that,” says Ms Sepuloni.

Mr Tamihere's indicated he's keen to take Ms Sepuloni's place for Labour and run in Waitakere in 2014. Ms Bennett's unfazed.

“He probably should zip it,” she says.

And she says he's no threat.

“He's a failed politician, that's what he is. I suppose he sees someone who's considerably younger than him and female and sees that as some kind of threat, and who's had a more successful career than he has to date.”

Mr Tamihere left Parliament in 2005, not before infamously his calling colleagues "front bums" and "queers". 3 News wanted to know, why all the slurs?

“I don't have a problem with gay people,” says Mr Tamihere. “I have a problem with gay marriage.”

When asked about sexism, he responded, “What is that? I'm a man, you're a woman”.

Mr Tamihere wasn't happy with the 3 News line of questioning. He used his talkback show to say as much.

“Hey Tova, go jump in the lake, you stupid little girl.”

Since his acceptance back into Labour, two of the party's MPs have called him a misogynist on Twitter. Nanaia Mahuta says his past comments don't gel with the party.

“It doesn't, but John Tamihere's a radio presenter and he'll say anything to get a soundbite, and the more controversial the better for him.”

They say any publicity is good publicity, and Mr Tamihere is certainly drumming up it up one way or another. But with Labour MPs publicly speaking out against him already, his chances of getting selected to run in 2014 may be getting slimmer.

3 News

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