Watch: National MP Gerry Brownlee fights off fat-shaming dig from Winston Peters with witty response

Parliament erupted in laughter and applause after National MP Gerry Brownlee fended off a fat-shaming dig from Winston Peters with a witty response. 

Peters, standing in for the Prime Minister, was asked in Parliament on Thursday to explain why the Government has not confirmed all of the shovel-ready projects it is funding so Auckland Council can set their budget and rates. 

Before Peters could respond he was interrupted by heckles from National MP Gerry Brownlee - and the Deputy Prime Minister responded with a fat-shaming dig. 

"Well, I know something... that member's never seen a shovel... and it shows," Peters said, followed by laughter from other MPs. "I mean, anybody that's done any physical work... they keep their shape all their lives."

House Speaker Trevor Mallard ordered Peters to withdraw and apologise. He said while Brownlee had interjected, the National MP "didn't take it down to that level". 

Brownlee took it on the chin. 

"Mr Speaker, I feel obliged to say that I've kept my shape all my life," Brownlee said, as MPs clapped and cheered.

Even Peters couldn't hold back a smile. 

"I fear he's got me there."