Justice Minister Judith Collins has described three Labour Party MPs as a noddies for visiting a high-profile inmate who wants a prison smoking ban overturned.
Labour's justice spokesperson Andrew Little, police and Corrections spokesperson Kris Faafoi and the party's labour spokesperson Darien Fenton last week met with career criminal Arthur Taylor at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo.
Following a challenge from Taylor, the High Court last year ruled the Department of Corrections smoking ban was unlawful and invalid.
Ms Collins says Taylor would have more public profile than "the three of those noddies put together".
"I can well understand that why they might want to try and get some of his celebrity but, frankly, they should think about the effect on Corrections officers who day in and day out have to put up with him and people like him."
Mr Little says the meeting was at Taylor's request and was part of a wider visit of the prison facilities, and the only person who has drawn attention to it is the minister herself.