National's teen candidate William Wood apologises after appearing to impersonate Hitler in resurfaced image

The National Party's teenage Palmerston North candidate William Wood has apologised after appearing to impersonate Adolf Hitler in an image resurfaced online.

"The photo was taken when I was 14," Wood, 18, told Newshub in a statement on Tuesday. "It was an error on my part. I apologise for any offence that it may have caused."

It's not the first time Wood has come under fire over a resurfaced image. He removed a photo from his personal Facebook page last year showing a friend pulling a hand gesture associated with white supremacists. 

A spokesperson for Wood told Newshub at the time the teenager had started a public Facebook profile following his selection as National's Palmerston North candidate, to "protect the privacy of family and close friends". 

The spokesperson said at the time the gesture Wood's friend made was "absolutely not" a white supremacist hand gesture.

Wood was selected as National's Palmerston North candidate in November 2019. The seat is currently held by Labour's Iain Lees-Galloway who will not contest it after it was revealed last week he had an affair with a former staffer.

Wood spent Monday in Palmerston North campaign with National leader Judith Collins.

If elected to Parliament at the September election, Wood - who had just graduated from Palmerston North Boys High School when he was selected as a candidate - would become New Zealand's youngest MP ever.