Auckland mayoral candidate Wayne Brown has said the first thing he'd do in the top job is glue pictures of a New Zealand Herald journalist to urinals so people could "pee on him".
Brown made the comment about Simon Wilson, whom he also called a "prick", during filming by Newshub this week.
After being shown the footage on Newshub Nation's mayoral debate this morning, Brown told debate host Rebecca Wright he didn't realise he was being filmed when he made the comments and "didn't mean to do it in a way that would become public".
Rival candidate Efeso Collins described the comments as "not fitting of an Auckland mayor".
"These are undignified comments - and as mayor you have to be a team player, a collaborator, and be able to handle criticism."
In the Newshub footage, Brown complained about the journalist finding out his age.
"That prick Simon Wilson dug it out and he's been at me for all year long and the first thing I'll do when I get to be mayor, I'll be gluing little pics of him on all the urinals so we can pee on him."
When asked about his comments by Wright, Brown said he hadn't meant the comments to be public and he was sure Wilson had "said a few things about me that he probably didn't want to have public either".
Wilson had "launched into it from day one" and had called him an "angry old white man", Brown said.
"Which is a pretty good description of him actually."
In an opinion piece in the Herald in March, Wilson described both Brown and then fellow mayoral contender Leo Molloy as "angry".
There was no reference to their ages.
Brown said he and Wilson had shaken hands after an interview that "went quite well" yesterday.
"We had got to the situation where there was mutual respect."
He was running for office to make ratepayers happy, not media, Brown told Wright.
"If I've upset a few media people that's just the way it is... but the ratepayers will be happy with what I want."
NZME managing editor Shayne Currie said: "We're not really interested in commenting on Brown's pathetic remarks but we stand by Simon Wilson as a highly skilled, experienced journalist who brings much required scrutiny to the policies and character of potential mayoral candidates."