Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters appeared on this evening's episode of The Project and, confronted about his comments regarding the sale of MediaWorks' TV business, said he is "seriously sorry".

At NZ First's annual convention in Christchurch on Saturday, Peters had some harsh words regarding MediaWorks' announcement and said "good riddance" to some of the staff.

However, today he apologised to the "husbands, wives and children" that make up the 520 jobs on the line with the sale of the company's TV arm.

The Deputy PM added that he would offer whatever help his party can give.


"Let me tell you right now, tonight, that we as a political party are not going to leave this scene and leave it like it is. If we can possibly help, we will," he said.

"It is 500 jobs... it is a whole lot of talent and years and years of building up this utility so to speak... we've always been interested in workers and staff and the real down to earth things in life."

He refused to back down on comments regarding The AM Show co-host Mark Richardson.

"There's a very sad situation... but I said there was the odd one where it was good riddance," he said on the show this evening.

Earlier today, Peters called Richardson "gutless" after the TV host accused him of lacking "basic human respect".

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"To the Richardsons of this world... a guy you've had on your show... he's been dumping all over me, calling me 'white pus' and 'cancer' and what have you... it's all defamatory. He knows what he's done," Peters said this evening.

"All I said was, 'For those people, darn good riddance... you know why they call him [Richardson] 'Rigor'? Because he was so slow at the bat. Like Rigor Mortis."


The Project co-host Kanoa Lloyd asked Peters to try to put aside his differences with Richardson and suggested the two men should "both be grownups".

"Because those comments did have a real effect on the hundreds and hundreds of people that are threatened with the sale of this company, worried about how to get the bills paid in the future," she told Peters.