Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford has come out swinging at the author of an opinion piece suggesting he's "piggybacking" off her success.

In an article published in the Herald today, columnist Deborah Hill Cone said she was "not convinced" by Clarke's "hipster salty seadog" narrative.

Gayford, a columnist for the Herald on Sunday, has hit back at Hill Cone on Twitter, comparing her to a "bottom-feeding fish" which features on his show, Fish of the Day.

"And welcome back to NZ - lol. Here's some other bottom feeding fish who I'd never met which feature as breaking news this weds 8pm on Prime TV, FISH OF THE DAY. - in the stunning COROMANDEL," the tweet read.

New Zealand Herald columnist Deborah Hill Cone.
New Zealand Herald columnist Deborah Hill Cone.

In the article, Hill Cone claimed she admired Ardern but found Gayford's posing for photos "cringey" and his personality presented in the media as smug.

"There's something about our First Bloke that keeps nagging me every time I see his cheerful face," she wrote.Ardern seems to have done well in that regard. And I'm a feminist. I should be applauding Gayford for stepping up to this new role. So why does the "first man of fishing" give me a little bit of acid reflux?"