NZ First leader Winston Peters has slammed a poll that has Shane Jones trailing the pack in Northland as "unscientific".
A 1 News Colmar Brunton poll has NZ First's Jones on just 15 per cent support in the Northland electorate, with National's Matt King, the incumbent, on 46 per cent and Labour candidate Willow-Jean Prime on 31 per cent.
"I'm finding it hard to believe a poll of 500 and the unscientific way it was done is gaining any currency whatsoever," Peters said in Whanganui on Sunday.
When asked by the Whanganui Chronicle whether he would consider "doing a deal" with their coalition partners in the Northland electorate, Peters said the party had never "done deals behind the taxpayer's back" in their history.
Peters was in Whanganui on Sunday as part of his election campaign bus tour of the country and spoke to a full house of predominantly older people at a public meeting at Barracks Sports Bar on Sunday afternoon. That was followed by a visit to Jane Winstone Retirement Village.
Keeping the Covid-19 virus out of New Zealand was "paramount" and at this stage was more important than "balancing the books", Peters said.
"Liberty, rule of law and freedom" were the most important things.
Peters said NZ First has the ability to work with either Labour or National post-election and his party would "keep the Government in check", but that NZ First's current polling numbers meant it wasn't easy to achieve everything they wanted to.
"Boy, it's hard when you get 7.2 per cent of the vote and everybody expects you to fix everything that's wrong in the world.
"That's like giving someone a microlight and telling them 'we want you to fly to the moon'."
Peters talked to the boisterous public meeting about the influence of China, protections for the elderly and the Government's "fantastic" response to Covid-19.
"I hear economists say that we as a country have lost $17 billion because of incoming tourist revenue.
"What they didn't tell you was that we just saved $11b on outgoing tourist money, because New Zealanders aren't going anywhere."
The party represented all New Zealanders regardless of gender, ethnicity or anything else, Peters said. However, one person stormed out of the public meeting after a line of questions about appealing to the younger parts of New Zealand society.
When asked by the member of the public if the Back Your Future slogan was appropriate due to "all the grandmas, grandfathers and parents" in the audience, Peters responded sharply.
"These are the people that created this great country and gave it every modern facility, universities, hospitals, you name it."
They did it all with a country the size of the UK, but with the population of Manchester.
"I think you should show a little bit of respect."