David Seymour has defended wearing a T-shirt linking a sexualised woman to meat but says it might have been better to wear the male one.
The Act party leader and sole MP has been grilled on social media after he posted a picture of himself wearing the T-shirt at a barbecue hosted by University of Auckland's Meat Club.
The T-shirt shows a silhouette of a naked woman reclining provocatively and poses the question, "Got meat?"
The picture drew the ire of many who labelled it sexist and demeaning of women, especially in the context of the global #metoo movement.
Green MP Golriz Ghahraman tweeted: "Being part of the problem on campus in a post #metoo world: proving your manhood doesn't require super gross women are pieces of meat and/or boner reference. Just eat your bbq ACT dudes. No one was questioning your manhood and it's not 1954..."
Seymour told RNZ the T-shirt was not sexist, and was about the "idolisation of meat".
"It is a club of people who idolise meat, and produce pictures of athletic people, men and women, with cows' heads on them."
When asked if the T-shirt was sexist he said, "No more than a sexualised man to meat".
However, he said he should have worn the male version.
"Maybe I should have worn the male one, I don't know."
Seymour took issue with the scale of the reaction, and said it would be a very "sterile world" if politicians were unable to take photos with students on campuses.
"It is rather a shame that our state broadcaster thinks this is the big issue.
"I would much rather be here talking about the closure of charter schools."