Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage dropped the word Kiwis think is the most offensive of all during an early-morning TV appearance on Thursday.
Ms Sage was talking to Breakfast host Daniel Faitaua about the controversial tahr cullwhen she appeared to use the slur in place of the word “hunters”.
“There will be control work done between now and mid-November. Further meetings of the tahr liaison group and the c**ters too have committed to doing a big educational effort so that they shoot the female tahr, not just the bulls, which have got this magnificent mane, which they like to hunt.”
Neither she nor Mr Faitaua reacted visibly to the phrase, but some hunters think it was no mistake.
“Wow! That was no slip of the tongue. Purposely said. Not acceptable,” one wrote on the forum at nzhuntingandshooting.co.nz.
“She [knew] what she was saying alright,” suggested another. “She pauses beforehand and afterwards.”
A Freudian slip or is she support her co-leader’s campaign to reclaim the C word?
To be fair she won’t be the first MP to use the word. Many years ago then Northland MP John Carter in the House meant to refer to Labour pulling a cunning stunt, but well he didn’t. It took several minutes for the House and even the Speaker to stop laughing.