Judith Collins is being raked over the coals on social media for "weaponising" her husband's ethnicity during the first leaders' debate.
In response to a question from Aorere College head girl Aigagalefili Fepulea'i Tapua'i about what each leader would do about high school students being forced to leave school and find employment to support their families, Collins started off by saying "My husband is Samoan so, talofa".
"We've got to get people into trades [and] we've got to get them education," she continued, saying her husband also left school to find employment.
However her full response to the question was brushed over by social media users furious at Collins for using her husband as a "shield".
One person implied Collins would divorce her husband when she leaves politics, as she would no longer need to use him to "shield herself from accusations of racism".
Another said Collins "weaponises" her husband.
The comment was likened to the "I have black friends so I can't be racist" trope.
Other users blasted the National leader for making the question about her.
Even Fepulea'i Tapua'i was unimpressed with Collins', calling it "clownery".
"Judith did not just say 'Fili I understand my husband is Samoan'" she vented on social media.
Newshub has contacted Fepulea'i Tapua'i and Collins for comment.