National leader Simon Bridges has fired another shot in the row over whether or not the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern should be overseas at the moment.
He has called on Finance Minister Grant Robertson to stop being so "sensitive and defensive", after he accused Bridges of having a sexist overtone when the National Leader said Ardern was a "part-time Prime Minister".
Speaking to RNZ this morning, Bridges said the comment was not sexist.
"It is a fair and a strong claim I make."
Ardern departed for Tokelau on Saturday, making her the first Kiwi Prime Minister in 15 years to visit the islands.
She is due back in New Zealand on Thursday.
Tokelau, which has a population of 1500, is a realm of New Zealand and is so remote it can only be accessed by sea – the journey takes almost an entire day by boat.
Ardern's trip comes as protesters continue to gather at Ihumātao to voice their opposition to the land being developed by Fletchers, the company that owns the land.
Bridges said that Ardern was leading a part-time Government.
He said in the House yesterday, not only was Ardern absent but so was Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Acting Prime Minister Kelvin Davis.
"[This is] a Government that hasn't got the focus on the issues New Zealand wants it to."
Peters is in Thailand attending the East Asia Summit and Davis was in Auckland where he was scheduled to assist with Ihumātao talks.
Yesterday, Robertson said Bridges' attack on the Prime Minister was a desperate measure from a National leader struggling to resonate with voters.
He suggested Bridges was dog-whistling to voters who don't think Ardern can be a fulltime Prime Minister while being a mother at the same time, suggesting the comment had "sexist" overtones.
Bridges disagreed – "Grant [Robertson] needs to stop being so sensitive and defensive," he told RNZ.
He also took aim at Ardern for inserting herself into the Ihumātao debate.
On Friday, Ardern sought to calm the situation and called for a halt to construction while a solution was sought with all affected parties.
Bridges said she shouldn't have got involved.
"What the Prime Minister and the Government are ultimately saying is they're not serious about building more houses."