David Seymour questioned Jacinda Ardern’s te reo knowledge today, as the pair clashed over a new police gang operation during question time in Parliament.
The exchange came as last week police officials announced that they're starting a nationwide crackdown on guns held by gangs and organised crime under the name Operation Tauwhiro.
The long-term, nationally-coordinated operation will see each police district run their own "tailored initiative" alongside iwi and community groups to offer support that can help address the underlying causes of violence.
After voicing her support for the police operation when questioned by Seymour this afternoon, ACT’s leader then asked if the Prime Minister knew what Operation Tauwhiro’s English translation is.
"Did the minister not know that Tauwhiro is Te Reo Māori meaning to tend or care for, or does she actually believe that violent criminals who sell P need to be tended and cared for?"
Ardern responded by again backing the police initiative.
"What I listen to is the evidence to what is going to make a difference. If we want to make a difference to the young people who join gangs in New Zealand, we have to demonstrate that there are alternatives for them that they can find a place to grow their potential without joining criminal organisations.
"I support programmes that are evidence-based in order to prevent that from happening," she said.
Seymour then moved on to another line of questioning.