Gareth Morgan calls Jacinda Ardern 'lipstick on a pig'

The Opportunities Party leader Gareth Morgan has come under fire for referring to Labour leader Jacinda Ardern as "lipstick on a pig."

On Sunday evening, Dr Morgan tweeted "personality politics is utter crap. All the matters is policy - do you hear me Jacinda? Do you care? Happy to help of course."

In the discussion that followed, Dr Morgan said: "Jacinda should be required to show she's more than lipstick on a pig. Will she be?"

Some suggested Dr Morgan was calling Ms Ardern herself a pig.

However, others believe he is calling Ms Ardern the lipstick and the Labour Party the pig.

Dr Morgan isn't the only politician to come under fire for the use of the phrase.

When the US Republican Party unveiled its new mantra for "change" during their 2008 campaign, Former US President Barack Obama spoke out against it.

"You can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig," he said.

"You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink. We've had enough of the same old thing."

Republicans took the line as a reference to Sarah Palin, who had just a week earlier described the difference between a hockey mum and a pit bull as "lipstick".

The Obama campaign noted that this was a common phrase, instead referring to putting a new slogan on the same old campaign - not a dig at Ms Palin.