The Opportunities Party leader Gareth Morgan has told a woman who stood on the party list to resign for being "a pain in the arse".
Dr Jenny Condie was number 23 on the TOP list for the September election, in which TOP won 2.4 per cent of the party vote but failed to win any seats in Parliament.
Last night, Condie posted a message from Morgan on Twitter that read: "Hi Jenny - please just resign from the party - you're a pain in the arse. Ka kite ano, Gareth."
Her TOP email address was cancelled soon afterwards.
Condie told Radio NZ's Morning Report that she had written to Morgan about concerns following his response to the death of Paddles, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's cat.
Morgan was widely condemned for a number of his Paddles-related tweets including "Was it out and about wandering? If so does this reflect the value the PM puts on NZ wildlife?", "Does anyone think the PM's not a hypocrite having taxpayers fund conservation while her cat wanders & kills at will?" and "Understand u fragile flowers of Twitter-wandering cats whether called Moonbeam or Paddles, r pests. We need PMs with conservation integrity."
Condie said her message to Morgan was strong and asked about the future direction of the party.
She said she was "a little bit upset" by Morgan's response, but she had come to expect such behaviour.
"I think I've been flat out asked to resign. Either way, I think it would be best to go our separate ways."
She said she hoped to stay in politics.
"I'm still really passionate about TOP's policies and was always keen to represent those policies, but I was never that excited about the Gareth Morgan Party, if that was what it was going to be.
"TOP has never had any policies about cats. We've all spent quite a lot of time during the campaign making that point to people."
The Herald is seeking further comment from Morgan.