Auckland Council-controlled agency Watercare has now apologised and deleted a post on social media which urged women to take shorter showers, which some online described as “sexist”.

Watercare’s head of communications Rachel Hughes told 1News the post drew inspiration from a trend that suggested women prefer hotter showers to men.

“To leverage off this trend, we reshared a meme, highlighting the potential cost savings by keeping showers short,” she said.

“While we aim to make our social media content fun and engaging, we recognise that, on this occasion, we missed the mark.

“We acknowledge that our posts have caused offense and have taken them down this morning.”

Hughes said Watercare regrets “any hurt and offense caused” and offered its sincere apologies.

“From time to time, we do target particular audiences with our social media content to ensure it resonates with them.”

Watercare also apologised on social media.

People criticising the post included North Shore councillor Richard Hills, who is the council’s chairperson of the planning, environment, and parks committee.

In the original post, the water agency wrote: “Ladies, we’re all for showering in a firey [sic] inferno, but 27% of your power bill is used to heat water.

“So, let’s keep it snappy to keep your wallet happy! 1 shower, 4 minutes – it’s all you need 🚿💫 #MakeEveryDropCountAKL”

A meme of Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian television series was posted alongside the text.

Servicing the Auckland region, Watercare is the country’s largest single water provider and wastewater management agency.

In response to the post, Hills called it “sexist” and “not part of the water conservation strategy I asked Watercare to show me”.

“I usually love your work @watercare_NZ but this is not it.”

It was followed by a suggestion for the agency to delete the post.

Another social media user posted: “The strongest case I’ve seen for Three Waters is that this tweet would not exist.”

“Guess Auckland’s water system has more than one type of ageing infrastructure,” another wrote.

“Imagine writing this in 2024 and thinking you’re being funny and smart. Will the next post remind men to make sure the ladies are not rinsing the dishes for too long?” another added.