15 Feb 2019

Paula Bennett defends 'no sausage' mansplaining ad on KiwiBuild

6:30 am on 15 February 2019

National's deputy leader Paula Bennett says it's easy to find offence if you're looking for it, after her party put out an attack ad in which a woman is "mansplained" about KiwiBuild's failings.

screen grab of the NZ National Party sausage ad

A screen grab from the National Party's new attack ad. Photo: NZ National Party / Twitter

The ad has drawn widespread criticism and National's male MPs were yesterday quizzed about their attitudes towards women, while coalition politicians didn't miss a beat in using it to get stuck into the opposition.

The advertisement shows a wide-eyed young woman at a backyard barbecue, enthusiastically talking about KiwiBuild only to be set straight by a suave-looking bloke.

A man cooking sausages on the barbie then quips, "They're all sizzle and no sausage."

It was National Party MPs rather than sausages that were being grilled at Parliament yesterday.

National's number two Paula Bennett was asked if she thought young, blonde women need government policy explained to them by men.

"Oh, no more than fat brown ones or any other male that I might know or anyone else. It's got nothing to do with gender it's got nothing to do with hair colour it's got nothing to do with any of that sort of thing. It's just the way that the ad went."

Paula Bennett arrives at Parliament for the first session of 2019. 12 February 2019.

National's deputy leader Paula Bennett says it's easy to find offence if you're looking for it. Photo: RNZ / Jane Patterson

National's male politicians were asked if they "mansplained".

Todd McClay was asked if he understood complicated policies better than women.

He responded: "Ah, I'm not sure. I'd have to ask my wife about that."

Housing Minister Phil Twyford thought otherwise: "If I commissioned that ad I'd be asking for a refund. Clearly [it's] sexist and I think a lot of people would find it offensive."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern used the opportunity to talk-up KiwiBuild.

"We as a government are building more houses than any government since the 1970s which, I have to say, feels roughly about the era of that ad."

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters was more succinct with his thoughts about the ad.

"It's all sizzle and no sausage," he said.