A male lawyer has been criticised for using a controversial quote in an invitation to a prestigious international affairs dinner in Wellington next month.
Gregory Thwaite used the quote: "the best party has women with a past and young men with a future" to invite people to a New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA) dinner to celebrate diversity.
Mr Thwaite, who is the NZIIA Auckland Branch chair, emailed the invite to Auckland branch members. It quickly surfaced online and drew scathing criticism.
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Former lawyer Olivia Wensley said it is "an appalling sexist comment" and has made a complaint about it to the Law Society.
The NZIIA has firmly distanced itself from Mr Thwaite and the quote - which he chose to use in his personal capacity.
The National Office said in a statement that his use of the quote "in no way reflects the position of the Institute. Indeed, the Institute abhors sexism in all shapes and forms".
The dinner event, which is a celebration of diversity in international affairs, is directed by a woman and will be MC'd by a well-known New Zealand woman, it said.
Ms Wensley has made a complaint to the Law Society about the comment, saying it "perfectly illustrates the inherent problem with the law profession".
"Lawyers are meant to be fit and proper persons. To go on public record and say something blatantly sexist in the current climate... it's just so off base," she said.
"It's bringing the profession into disrepute, by clearly displaying such sexist views."
After researching the origins of the quote, Ms Wensley found it is from Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.
"I like men who have a future and women who have a past," the character Lord Henry Wotton says during a discussion about a party.
Shortly before that quote he says: "A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her."
Mr Thwaite has not yet responded to Newshub's request for comment, but previously defended his use of the quote in an email to Stuff.
He gave a number of explanations for why he used the quote, inlcuding that it is intended to "recognise the achievement of many women in middle age".
He also said it could be about "the desirability of mentoring between an older woman and an younger man" or serve as "a 'wake-up call' to slipping educational and career aspirations of young men".