National MP Harete Hipango congratulates herself on return to Parliament

For the second time in as many days, a National MP has made a social media boo-boo.

Harete Hipango lost her seat at the 2020 election, but re-entered Parliament earlier this month with the abrupt retirement of veteran Nick Smith. On Tuesday she was sworn back in as an MP by Speaker Trevor Mallard.

Later that day she took to Facebook to celebrate.

"By oath... I'm back!" she told her followers, many of whom congratulated the former member for Whanganui.

But strangely, amongst them was Hipango.

"Great to see you back in the House Harete, and making a speech too!" a post from Hipango herself read.

Harete Hipango is happy that Harete Hipango is back in Parliament.
Harete Hipango is happy that Harete Hipango is back in Parliament. Photo credit: Harete Hipango/Facebook

She later blamed it on "someone else".

"I shall try to address and sort," she wrote. 

The blunder is reminiscent of Australian MP Angus Taylor, who in 2019 was widely mocked after praising his own efforts in a comment on a Facebook post on his own page.

"Fantastic. Great move. Well done Angus," Taylor wrote. It's not clear what happened in that case - whether he meant to post the comment under another name, or a staffer was logged into his account instead of their own. 

Newshub has contacted the National Party and Hipango for an explanation, but is yet to hear back.

It comes a day after National MP Chris Penk deleted a self-censored but crude tweet aimed at NZ First leader Winston Peters, calling him a "s*x maniac" with the ability to "f**k a whole country at once".

Penk later told Newshub he "decided to delete it because the language was a bit out there and I wouldn't want to cause offence". 

National leader Judith Collins told The AM Show on Thursday that while "a lot of people feel a bit like that" about Peters, it wasn't Penk's job to say it. 

"Chris has apologised to me. He said it was a dumb tweet. It's just a distraction and that's the point, because we're busily talking about mental health and car taxes, and that's what we want to be focused on.... I'm sure he's learned his lesson. The thing is, it's just not our core message, is it?"

In 2019 National MP Jo Hayes deleted one of her two Twitter accounts after sending unprompted late-night abusive messages to a member of the public