The Westie's new weapon: Paula Bennett shoots machine gun

She's often been in the firing line of public opinion, but now the deputy Prime Minister is the one holding the gun - and not just any old gun.

Paula Bennett has got her hands on some heavy weaponry - a machine gun.

Ms Bennett has shared a video to Facebook of herself firing the gun, which appears to be an M60, simply captioned: "Shot my first machine gun today" - along with a shocked emoji.

She's not the first Police Minister to take aim, but it is a one-up on her predecessor, Judith Collins, who was very proud of pictures of her firing a handgun - an image that frequently resurfaces when "Crusher Collins" hits the headlines.

Ms Bennett didn't actually get her hands on the gun through the Police - a spokeswoman for the Minister told Newshub she lined up for a go on a private overseas trip this week.

"The Minister is on a private overseas trip. She had the opportunity to try firing a machine gun which she enjoyed."

The eight-second clip shows the Minister line up the gun in a shooting range, and let rip.

However in her Facebook comments she has been criticised for only scraping the surface of the gun's capabilities.

"Only 4 rounds in that M60? They're called a 200 round belt for a reason!" Allan Mckie wrote.