Newstalk ZB's Leighton Smith labels Jacinda Ardern a 'chicky babe'

  • 19/10/2017
Leighton Smith is one of the station's top broadcasters.
Leighton Smith is one of the station's top broadcasters. Photo credit: Newstalk ZB

A right-wing New Zealand talkback radio host has landed himself in hot water after referring to Labour leader Jacinda Ardern as "chicky babe".

Leighton Smith, one of the primetime broadcasters at NZME's Newstalk ZB, made the comment on Wednesday morning during a spiel on the nature of the late-night meetings NZ First shared with the leaders of Labour and National.

Musing on what went down on the one-on-one meeting with Winston Peters and Jacinda Ardern, Smith commented on what he assumed would be a strange dynamic between the two.

"Winston Peters had one-on-one meetings with each of the leaders. Peters had one with Bill English first for around about half-an-hour or thereabouts, and roughly the same period of time after that with Jacinda Ardern," he said.

"How do you think the meeting between Winston and Jacinda was - what do you think?"

"Here's a guy of 72 with a 37-year-old chicky babe."

Immediately reprimanded with a dirty look from his producer, Smith addressed what he said before using the demeaning label again twice.

"Yes I know, I've got the look of horror through the glass. But seriously, an old codger with a chicky babe. Let's just put it in the vernacular, okay?"

"An old codger and a chicky babe."

Smith went on to say Mr Peters may well have had to "play his cards close to his chest" with Ms Ardern because of the "political correctness under which we all live now".

Mr English's greater experience in politics would've been an advantage, he continued - saying that while Mr Peters may have had to "put on a show" for Ms Ardern, there would have been honesty and "a bit of challenge" in the meeting with the National leader.