Simon Bridges says he is "pleased" with the sentence handed to a man who threatened to feed the former National Party leader and his children to pigs.
On April 22, Te Teko man Hohepa Waenga sent a private Facebook message to Bridges when he was Opposition leader.
He said, "F*** you, you ball head I'm going to kill your kids and you and feed them to the pigs you little b****".
The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to threatening to kill in June and was sentenced to 120 hours' community service in the Whakatāne District Court this afternoon.
Court documents said Waenga was drinking with an associate on Kōwhai St in Whakatāne at 3pm the day of the offending, watching a debate between Bridges and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The debate angered him and he wrote and sent the message.
When spoken to by police, Waenga admitted the events and explained he was angry at Bridges because he liked Ardern.
Bridges, who has three children, told NZME after the sentencing "It was important that there was a penalty - not just for my family but for others as well, and the precedent".
"I am pleased with the outcome."
He said public life "has enough challenges" for his family "without this sort of threat".
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"These things do cause stress and they would for any family ... It's also important that we live in a country where people in public life - whether you agree with them or not - can do their job without fear. We want to ensure we have people who step into public life."
He hoped people were "increasingly understanding that just because it's social media doesn't mean there aren't consequences".
Waenga's lawyer Lisa Ebbers sought a discharge without conviction but this was rejected by Judge John Macdonald.
She said Waenga had not been before the courts before, had offered to go through restorative justice and had written a letter of apology.
Ebbers said Waenga "never intended to follow through and very much regretted what he had said".
He faced backlash on social media and disappointment from his whānau, she said.
"He takes full responsibility, he knows there are no excuses."
Ebbers said it was "unique for someone of his age to have such passionate views about politics".
Judge Macdonald accepted Waenga never intended on carrying out the threats "but Mr Bridges would not have known that".
"No politician should be subjected to threats."
Macdonald said 120 hours community work was the "least restrictive" outcome.
The maximum penalty available was seven years in prison.