National Party leader Judith Collins has responded to criticism of her husband David Wong-Tung sharing anti-Jacinda Ardern memes on social media, saying it's not something she would do.
"We've been together for 41 years. I've never been able to get him to do anything I tell him to do so," Collins said on Monday. "I've just said to him, well it's not something I would do, but he's an adult and he makes his own decisions."
Wong-Tung has been re-posting memes from a Facebook page named National Party's Meme Working Group, including one where an image of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is tinted green and made to look like the Marvel comic character The Incredible Hulk.
Ardern is labelled "The Incredible SULK" in the meme, and it is captioned: "Don't make me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry."
Wong-Tung shared another meme made to look like one of the Government's official 'Unite Against COVID-19' ads, except it reads: "United against CINDY-20."
The posts have been described on Twitter as "aggressive misogyny" against Ardern.
Neale Jones, a former senior adviser to the Labour Party, said: "Imagine if Clark [sic] Gayford published anything remotely this toxic and personal about Judith Collins."
Clarke Gayford is the Prime Minister's fiancée.
Collins said she is not responsible for her husband's actions.
"I think he just gets sick of people having a go at him and me but it's his decision," she said. "He's one of the least sexist people I know. He's married to me - how could he be sexist?
"He's an adult, he'll make his own decisions and you know, let's put it this way: I don't have to answer for him because I haven't been able to control him for 41 years.
"If you've got the secret to how you can control a man who's 64 years old, used to play a lot of rugby and was a policeman, good luck, let me know."
It's not the first time Collins' husband has been involved in controversy.
Collins was accused of a conflict of interest in 2014 after she attended a private dinner with senior executives of Oravida and a Chinese border official. Her husband was a director of the dairy exporting company.
The Opposition at the time argued the meeting was a conflict of interest because she was on an official ministerial visit to Shanghai.
Prime Minister John Key criticised the visit, causing Collins to apologise. However, she said the Chinese official - who she refused to name - was a "very close personal friend".
You can read more about it here.