Patrick Gower has delighted his fans by aiming a "deliciously petty" wisecrack at Christoper Luxon after the Opposition leader became embroiled in 'kiwifruit-gate' on Tuesday.
Yesterday morning, Luxon confirmed he jetted off to Hawaii for a holiday with his family last week while Parliament was in recess, despite his social media suggesting he was still in New Zealand at the time.
For example, a video shared to Luxon's social media during his overseas trip featured the National Party leader declaring, "Today I'm in Te Puke, the heart of kiwifruit country", with footage showing the politician meeting with local businesses, workers and volunteers. A picture also posted to his Instagram last week showed Luxon meeting with University of Auckland vice-chancellor, Dawn Freshwater. In reality, both of those visits had occurred the week prior.
While Luxon initially denied that his social media had been misleading, on Tuesday afternoon he conceded to reporters that the posts should have been captioned differently - "to make it clear [the events were] in recent days, not on the day". He noted that while his "social media team" had uploaded the posts in question, he took responsibility for the confusion.
"We made a mistake and we own up to it, we front it," he said. "We should have captioned the post differently. That's what we should have done."
However, Newshub National Correspondent, Patrick Gower, couldn't help but make a pointed jab at the National leader's indiscretion following the kerfuffle.
On Wednesday morning, Gower - who is currently on a work trip in Canberra, the capital of Australia - shared a photo of himself looking out across the leafy city to his almost 100,000 followers on Facebook. Despite his location being tagged as "Canberra, Australian Capital Territory", Gower captioned the post: "Today I'm in Te Puke, heart of kiwifruit country."
The not-so-subtle remark quickly attracted attention online, prompting a number of amused viewers to applaud Gower for his wit.
"You are so deliciously petty," one commented, with a second adding: "This is why you have ascended to legendary status."
"Such a savage burn. I like it," another joked.
"'Paddy Gower on Kiwifruit'," a fourth quipped, referencing the titles of Gower's most recent documentaries.
While Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has refused to comment on kiwifruit-gate, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson suggested it wasn't a good look.
"I think a post that says you're in Te Puke on a particular day published on a day when you're actually in Hawaii is misleading," he told reporters on Tuesday.
When asked whether Luxon's posts could be considered delusive, ACT Party leader David Seymour said: "The number one bit of advice I give to all of ACT's MPs is be authentic, be real. Don't pretend to be something you're not and you'll find you get a lot of support."