Act Party leader David Seymour has claimed that he knows what it is like to be a minority as he called out Labour MP Andrew Little for a "pathetic" response to the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
And Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has added to the sentiment this morning, tweeting "we won't pander to the woke brigade".
But Peters has just deleted this tweet, as have NZ First MPs who shared it.
Seymour told MediaWorks: "I know what it's like to be a minority. I am a minority. I've been a minority of one in Parliament for the last five years. Hopefully, that will change at some point."
Seymour also claimed to have been the subjects of attacks for the beliefs he holds.
"I get attacked for my views believing in freedom and responsibility on an individual level every day," he said.
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Seymour also took aim at Labour MP Andrew Little's claim that there was "something wrong" with the New Zealand justice system.
Little told Black Lives Matter protesters that "we've got to change" when a large group marched on Parliament on Sunday.
He said that as Minister of Justice, it was "pretty clear to me pretty much the day I got in that office what was happening in our criminal justice system".
Seymour told MediaWorks: "I think it's just pathetic and I think the inability to stand up for principle and say 'look, everyone's entitled to a view, it doesn't give you the right to be violent, it doesn't give you the right to rewrite history, it doesn't give you the right to believe that your views are more important than somebody else's'.
"Those are the values that make a country great that he should be standing up for, not doing a David Cunliffe - look how that ended."
Cunliffe infamously apologised for being a man while leading Labour to the 2014 general election, which saw the party face a historic defeat.
NZ First leader Winston Peters also tweeted this morning: "New Zealand is a proud and tolerant nation. We won't pander to the imported outrage on display at the weekend.
"It's simple. No matter your race, gender or creed - we put New Zealanders first!"
The tweet has since been deleted.
Asked this morning who he defined as the "woke brigade", Peters said: "Well it's someone that woke up yesterday and believes they have a greater social conscience than I've got - that's what I believe the woke brigade are."
The tweet sparked outrage. One person wrote: "I marched this weekend because I'm against police brutality and racism, including in USA and Aotearoa. If that's woke, then wake up."
Last week, he described the outcry about some of the country's statues as a "wave of idiocy".
A controversial statue of Captain John Hamilton has been removed from Civic Square in Hamilton where it has stood since 2013.
The decision to remove it was made after local kaumātua Taitimu Maipi declared he would tear it down during a planned protest in the city.
Peters said some "woke New Zealanders feel the need to mimic mindless actions imported from overseas".
"A self-confident country would never succumb to obliterating symbols of their history, whether it be good or bad or simply gone out of fashion", he said.
And "what next?', asked Peters.
"If one doesn't approve of war we pull down our cenotaphs? Should we demolish every school that once applied corporal punishment? Should Gandhi's statue be thrown in the Wellington harbour because we don't agree? Should knighthoods to the undeserving be post-humously withdrawn? Do Māori now disown our mixed heritage?
"The idea that statues of Captain Cook, the greatest maritime explorer of his age, be pulled down because of the history that followed him is disgraceful," Peters said.
"The woke generation are the equivalent of a person with no long-term memory, stumbling around in the present without any signposts to guide them.
"If a person, like a country, doesn't know where they have come from, they have no way of knowing where they are going", he said.
"Deal with it, grow up and read a book".
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "woke" is defined as "aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)".
- Additional reporting, RNZ