NZ Election 2020: Kelvin Davis ripped into for bizarre rhyming speech

Kiwis online calling it "cringeworthy", "mean-spirited" and "a complete disaster".
Kiwis online calling it "cringeworthy", "mean-spirited" and "a complete disaster". Photo credit: Getty

Deputy Labour leader Kelvin Davis has received a tirade of criticism online after giving a bizarre rhyming speech on Saturday night.

Davis rhymed, for 11 minutes, hailing leader "Whaea Jacinda" before she addressed the crowd at the Labour election headquarters.

The speech wasn't taken well on social media, where it was described as "cringeworthy", "mean-spirited" and "a complete disaster".

One user on Twitter called it the "world's worst election speech".

Another said: "Kelvin Davis just committed political suicide. Embarrassed."

Davis was criticised for ridiculing defeated National leader Judith Collins - mocking the National Party's changes in leadership after Todd Muller left due to mental health reasons.

"They needed another new leader, an upcoming star… then someone yelled my husband's from Samoa, so 'Talofa'," Davis recited to the crowd at the party.

"Oh I'll be the leader, old Judy from the back, I've waited twenty years for this moment, I'll get us back on track," he continued.

Kiwis online criticised Davis for not "getting the memo", calling his speech a "dent in the 'Be kind' brand".

On Sunday morning, Newshub Nation host Simon Shephard asked Davis why he decided to spend 10 minutes in rhyme.

"It was a flow-on from a speech I gave at our conference last year in Whanganui," Davis said.

"It was a bit of light-hearted fun. All the material was provided by the National Party, I was really just holding up a mirror reflecting their words and actions."

In her speech on Saturday night, Collins admitted defeat and congratulated Ardern on her win.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has hinted that Davis is likely to become Deputy Prime Minister.