Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Bennett: Sip It Sweetie and help my re-election campaign

Paula Bennett still hasn't decided who will get her Sip It Sweetie chardonnay. Photo / Audrey Young
Paula Bennett still hasn't decided who will get her Sip It Sweetie chardonnay. Photo / Audrey Young

Irreverent Cabinet Minister Paula Bennett has produced her own pink wine label on a chardonnay this Christmas called "Sip It Sweetie".

Some will find their way into Christmas stockings, but most will be auctioned to fundraise for her campaign in Upper Harbour next year.

"A fruity little number, plenty of sass and spirit," the label says.

"This classy chardonnay will impress at a barbecue, beach picnic or a fancy-pants dinner party. Good drinking now but even better after a third term."

The label is a play on her quote in Parliament last year "Zip it, sweetie". It was a quip to Labour's Jacinda Ardern who asked a question then interjected during the answer.

It was named one of Massey University's quotes of the year for 2012 - ministerial colleague Maurice Williamson won it this year for his reference to a "big gay rainbow" across his Pakuranga electorate during the same-sex marriage debate.

Prime Minister John Key has established a tradition of dispensing bottles of fine pinot noir at Christmas. Mrs Bennett says hers "is not as sophisticated as his, it would be fair to say".

Mrs Bennett has three dozen of the wine but hasn't decided if Ms Ardern will get one. "I was thinking about it but I'm not sure she will enjoy it."

She was going to keep most to auction for her campaign next year, when she will stand in the new Upper Harbour seat.

Her Labour opponent is not yet known, but the Conservatives are likely to put up former Work and Income boss Christine Rankin. Its leader Colin Craig described the likely contest as a "catfight".

"I took a breath and then I thought I've thicker skin than that - get on with it and more to worry about," Mrs Bennett said. "Whatever. I think it's ridiculous to go up against me - I'm the consummate campaigner. This is what I do. This is what I love. I breathe this sort of stuff and I'm really looking forward to it."

'Zip it sweetie' Bennett to Ardern:

Video

Auckland Central-based Jacinda Ardern was curious about why Mrs Bennett would think she would not enjoy it. "Is she implying I am a champagne socialist and therefore wouldn't drink chardonnay?

"I would love her to send me one because I would auction it and use the proceeds for a campaign to beat her."

- NZ Herald

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