Two National Party members are confirmed to have resigned after female politicians from Christchurch were harassed online.
MPs today said the misogynistic trolling linked to a party member's house typified abuse that female public figures face.
National leader Christopher Luxon this afternoon said two party members had resigned but he would not say who the members were.
He said the online abuse was unacceptable and incompatible with the party's standards.
"They reflected on the code of conduct and they resigned," Luxon told Newstalk ZB.
The party's deputy leader Nicola Willis said the sordid incident linked to a Young Nats member did not mean the broader party had a culture problem.
"This must not happen again."
Willis said she and Luxon agreed the trolling was disgusting and she said the Young Nats had also condemned the behaviour.
"The behaviour of this one individual has made every Young Nat look bad, and that's not fair."
Willis said during her career, she had also been subjected to abuse online at times.
"There are people who come online and say nasty things about me. I went into politics knowing that would be the case, but it doesn't make it okay."
Sara Templeton, councillor for Heathcote, said a persistent online harassment campaign targeted her in June and July last year.
"The accounts disappeared once I went public- but were not gone completely as online footprints remain and I decided to try and find those behind them," she wrote on Facebook.
"It was clear even back then that the accounts were active in promoting right-wing political views, so the result wasn't a surprise."
Christchurch man Bryce Beattie said although the abusive messages were linked to his home address, he was not the troll.
He announced he would not contest this October's local body elections.
Beattie today told 1News a flatmate, who was also a party member, had phoned him and confessed to running fake Facebook accounts.
Beattie said the flatmate had also now resigned from the party.
Labour MP for Wigram Megan Woods said the abusive account operated from December 2020 to July last year.
Woods said Templeton took very courageous action and used tools available under harmful digital communication laws to track down the trolling.
"What was revealed through Sara's efforts ... was that this was coming from an IP address of a home owned by a member of the National Party in Christchurch."
She added: "This was constant, it was targeted, and it was toxic."
Woods said unfortunately, women in public office frequently faced misogynistic online abuse.
"It happens every day, but we cannot normalise this."