A National MP has apologised for a mean tweet she made on a post celebrating the graduation of Jacinda Ardern's former campaign manager.

List MP Joanne Hayes last night took a swipe at Jeremy Greenbrook-Held, who works in data and analytics at the New Zealand Companies Office.

Greenbrook-Held also previously stood for Labour against John Key in the Helensville electorate in 2011 and was joint campaign manager for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Mt Albert electorate campaign in 2017. He is a frequent critic of National on his Twitter page.

Jeremy Greenbrook-Held, with his mother Karen, campaign in Helensville in 2011. File photo / Doug Sherring
Jeremy Greenbrook-Held, with his mother Karen, campaign in Helensville in 2011. File photo / Doug Sherring

Greenbrook-Held tweeted on June 4 that he had just graduated from a graduate diploma in applied statistics, which he began in 2012 after his role was disestablished and he was struggling to find a new job.

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"My daughter (who is now seven) had just been born, and one of my most endearing memories of my first paper was completing an assignment late one night while rocking her back to sleep."

As others shared their congratulations, Hayes replied instead: "OMG Youre [sic] such a nasty person and i hope that people checking you out for future work will visit your twitter page and see how ugly you really are".

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The tweet is five months old, but is pinned, meaning it appears at the top of Greenbrook-Held's Twitter profile.

Just before 1pm, Hayes text the Herald to say she'd been out of cellphone range when called earlier.

"I should not have sent this tweet. I will delete it and I'm sorry for any offence caused."

Greenbrook-Held couldn't immediately be contacted. However, this morning he tweeted a screen grab of Hayes' reply with the comment: "Ahh ok @johayesMP".

Hayes has been an MP since 2014 and is National's spokeswoman for Māori Development, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Whānau Ora.

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This week, Herald political editor Audrey Young wrote how Hayes "must be feeling the most disappointed, if not humiliated" when 17-year-old schoolboy William Wood beat "three able women, including a sitting list MP [Hayes]", for the National Party nomination in Palmerston North.

Hayes first stood in Dunedin South in 2011, was beaten for selection in Wairarapa in 2014 and stood in safe Labour seat Christchurch East in 2014 and 2017, but had never found a political home, Young wrote.

"She set up an electorate office and has been such a visible face for National there, many thought she lived there ... she may not have been a star but she has been a better parliamentary performer than many of her male colleagues."