Judith Collins says her boss Simon Bridges should be flattered by an advert mocking his thick Kiwi accent.
The Green Party's attack ad featured comedian Tom Sainsbury, known for his impersonations of New Zealand politicians, taking the piss out of Bridges. The National Party leader and Tauranga MP was portrayed as a car salesman angry at moves to make low-emissions vehicles cheaper.
It also made fun of his long-running poor showing in preferred Prime Minister polls.
Bridges himself said it was "a little bit funny", firing back at the "little petals" who support the Greens who complained it was in poor taste.
Collins told The AM Show on Friday Sainsbury has done "funny things" on her too, but had one complaint.
"[He] always says things about bourbon and whatever, Jack Daniels. I don't drink bourbon... I would like him to get it correct. A very decent red wine like a syrah or something, particularly Hawke's Bay."
She said Bridges should be pleased the Greens are taking shots at him.
"It's a compliment being included in these attack ads. It means people are taking you seriously."
The Greens pulled the advert and apologised for "causing offence". Labour MP Willie Jackson, appearing with Collins on The AM Show, said that was the wrong move.
"I would have ramped them up. But the boot in, I say. Even Simon was having a laugh."
Greens co-leader James Shaw later said the ad wasn't supposed to be making fun of Bridges' accent, and co-leader Marama Davidson said she thought it was "quite funny".