National MP Melissa Lee offended by Labour MP Tāmati Coffey saying 'stick to your job, love'

National MP Melissa Lee is offended after Labour MP Tāmati Coffey told her to "stick to your job, love" during a Parliamentary committee meeting. 

Lee was suggesting to a parliamentary staffer that there should be two microphones on the stand where ministers were presenting to the committee because she noticed submitters had to switch between them.

Coffey could be heard responding: "Hey, hey, stick to your job, love... ordering around microphones."

Lee responded saying she "wasn't ordering" anyone around but was "simply suggesting" there be an extra microphone, and that she has a "name and it's not 'hey, hey'".

The exchange happened during an interlude of the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee on Thursday which Lee and Coffey are both members of.

Lee, a list MP, told Newshub she didn't think much of it at the time, but it was brought to her attention that a video of the exchange had been posted on social media, and when she re-watched it, she "heard the tone".

"I thought, jeez, that's a bit rude... a bit dismissive," she said.

Lee said she could understand that Coffey may have meant his comments as a joke, but she said the Waiariki MP "should know better" because he is "supposed to be a 'woke' politician".

National MP Judith Collins tweeted about the comments saying "addressing a senior National woman MP... as 'love' is not appropriate". 

Newshub has contacted Coffey for a reaction but he has not responded.

Lee said she hasn't had any issues with Coffey in the past, and is willing to forgive. 

"I would accept his apology."

It's not the first time Coffey has been criticised for comments he made during a select committee meeting. 

During an Epidemic Response Committee meeting last month he told a struggling Rotorua bar owner the Prime Minister had also struggled during the lockdown having to make "big bold decisions, based on the country's best interests".

ACT leader David Seymour described the comment at the time as "extraordinary" and suggested Coffey invalidated the bar owner's struggles by saying "we should be worried about the poor Prime Minister".

Coffey said he was simply implying that the entire country was under pressure during the lockdown.