A Labour list MP has become tangled in a social media stoush after posting on HeadQuarters Viaduct's Facebook page that she would not be returning after a controversial dinner party being held there.
MP Marja Lubeck then posted a screenshot on Twitter of the wage subsidy supposedly received by the Auckland bar, without realising it was actually the subsidy received by an unrelated business in Nelson.
The HeadQuarters dinner party on Friday night initially raised concerns about whether restaurants would follow the strict Covid-19 alert level 2 rules.
Owner Leo Molloy said the party went off "seamlessly", and a police spokeswoman said police were not made aware of any "significant breaches" of the rules.
Lubeck took to the bar's Facebook page yesterday and commented on a post, in what Molloy called a bid to "piggy back" off his profile.
"We used to enjoy coming to your place but as you're obviously not prepared to support the rest of the team of 5 million making an effort, we'll give you a miss," Lubeck wrote.
A staff member managing the page then responded scathingly, telling Lubeck they would not miss her at the establishment.
"You're as much on our radar as you are on the political radar," they wrote.
Molloy also responded to the post, saying "I can't see myself ever taking any advice from a Labour politician any time soon. Please desist from using HQ to raise the profile you haven't got," he said.
Molloy told the Herald that Lubeck was "poking the bear" in order to raise her own profile.
"I haven't put a foot wrong ... nor will I," he said.
The dinner party was "seamless and it was totally compliant" and was carried out with the support of police.
"When someone of insignificance like this ... comes to our page and pokes us with a stick, I'm not sure what they expect."
Lubeck posted the exchange on Twitter, followed by a screenshot of the wage subsidy received by Headquarters Cafe Bar Ltd.
Followers were quick to point out the screenshot was actually of a hospitality business in the South Island.
Commenters said the move was "poor form from an MP" and it appeared to be a petty dig at the business relying on Government money.
Lubeck told the Herald her initial comment did not relate to the party, rather to posts on the HeadQuarters Facebook page that were critical of the Government's measures to halt the spread of coronavirus.
"What it was really about for me is that I found the messaging coming out of HeadQuarters really unhelpful," she said.
The posts "weren't very supportive of the measures and guidelines that we have for the alert level".
"At the end of the day we need everybody to be on board to stay on top of this virus."
She said the wage subsidy screenshot was in response to the comments she and Labour were trying to put their "filthy mitts" in others' pockets.
She said she tried to send the screenshot in a private message to someone, but accidentally posted it in public instead.