Paula Bennett says Kelvin Davis is 'handsome', he tells her she has a 'great personality'

They've been known to share fierce clashes, but the deputy leaders of New Zealand's main parties were all compliments and smiles on The AM Show on Friday morning.

After fielding questions about their parties' respective stances on Pike River Mine re-entry and negotiations with NZ First, a rather frisky exchange occurred.

It all began with National deputy leader Paula Bennett being quizzed on why she wasn't part of her party's negotiations with Winston Peters.

"Look, I'm no one's eye candy," she said.

Ms Bennett relented when host Duncan Garner suggested she was "eye candy to someone", saying that'd been proven because she'd already "found one bloke and married him".

Garner revisited the comment later in the interview, asking her whether she reckoned she'd be considered eye candy on the West Coast if she were to visit the Pike River Mine.

Taken aback, Ms Bennett inadvertently complimented Labour deputy Kelvin Davis.

"Who, me? I thought you were talking to Kelvin!" she said.

"'Cause he's a good-looking guy, Kelvin. So you never know, they might like him down the West Coast."

Mr Davis clearly a little uncomfortable, responding with a muted: "Thanks Paula, you sweet-talker."

Garner then probed Mr Davis for more compliments about his National Party counterpart - but got a mixed response.

"Paula's given you a real compliment this morning, saying you're a very handsome man. Do you return the favour?" Garner asked.

"Yeah, I agree entirely with her," he joked, before delivering a mumbled sentence about her "great personality" - to gasps from others in the studio.

"You've just got to laugh at the way she comes across, you know? Good on her. We get on well, outside politics. We get on fine."

Newshub.