Online commentators have been quick to either condemn - or praise – Paul Henry for his comments.

The Against the Current blog said Henry had sunk to a new low, "resorting to personal insults to attack his political opponents.

"The unfortunate woman who is the subject of Henry's jeering is Greenpeace's Stephanie Mills.

"It follows a long line of Henry insults thrown at people and organisations he doesn't like - and they are invariably liberal or left wing. Don't expect TVNZ to do the right thing and sack him."

>>Watch the clip on the Spare Room website

A writer on another blog said: "Henry is an arrogant prat. Alison Mau struggled on but let herself down badly when she attempted to defend Henry."

Green Tea described him as smug and sexist.

On The Standard blog, one contributor said: "If you think that is funny then you are a seriously deficient individual.

"It wasn't even sarcastic, and that is the lowest form of wit.

"It was nothing more than insolence and arrogance. Who does he think he is?"

Cactus Kate said: "Paul Henry should become Head of TVNZ. It was a superb moment in New Zealand television."