Kelvin Davis apologises to Prime Minister for sexist remark

Kelvin Davis has apologised to the Prime Minister for calling a female MP "hysterical" during a heated select committee on Thursday.

"Minister Davis has apologised to Jacqui Dean and to the Prime Minister herself. The Prime Minster says he should not have made that comment and he understands that," a spokesperson for the Prime Minister told Newshub. 

National MP Jacqui Dean was asking the Tourism Minister what impact increasing the minimum wage would have on small businesses in the tourism industry.

She told Newshub she framed the question several ways.

"The minister called me hysterical, called the questions hysterical. I objected to that, and I do object to it, because describing a woman as hysterical is an attempted undermining and put-down of a person, and I don't think that's acceptable in a Government minister."

Ms Dean said she was conducting her usual job as an Opposition MP - asking robust questions.

Mr Davis declined to be interviewed by Newshub on Friday morning, instead sending an apology in a written statement.

"I apologise for making that remark and for any offence caused," he wrote.

"I've tried to contact Jacqui Dean today to apologise to her directly.

"Estimates hearings are about holding ministers to account for spending decisions and while I was prepared for a robust line of questioning, I became frustrated with the particular approach being taken, but that was no excuse for making an offensive remark.

"We are doing great things in the tourism portfolio, we've got innovative solutions to issues and challenges in the sector. That should have been the focus.

"I'm the minister, I should have remained calm and on this occasion I let myself down, so once again I apologise for my poor choice of words."



It's the latest in a series of sexist comments made about opposing MPs at Parliament. In recent weeks, Ron Mark told Amy Adams to "settle petal" in the Chamber, and the Speaker heard a National MP call the Prime Minister a "stupid little girl".