National leader Simon Bridges has made an absolute doozy in an interview today, calling his deputy leader Paula Bennett, "Paula Benefit".

Bridges was talking to media following Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters' jibes at the National leader when he made the unfortunate insult.

"Winston Peters spends a huge amount of time on me, on Paula Ben, Benefit, Bennett," Bridges said.

"Let's start that again."


The nickname "Paula Benefit" was thrown around during her time as the Minister for Social Development, poking fun at her past as a solo parent who relied on the benefit.

In 2017, Bennett shut down rumours that she committed benefit fraud, saying she finds it "distasteful" that people are scraping through her past.

"I just find it kind of distasteful that people want to go back and look at someone's private life to nearly 30 years ago and start kind of dragging that up," she told media in 2017.

It's not the first time a politician has called Bennett "Paula Benefit", when in 2011 a Green MP accidentally made the gaffe during a candidates meeting.

Former Breakfast host Petra Bagust was also guilty of the error during a live segment in 2012.