Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has again been forced to distance herself from comments made by senior New Zealand First Ministers.

But she is playing down any suggestion of issues within Cabinet, telling reporters that it's "just the nature of MMP politics in Government".

This afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters called a journalist a "psycho" after they asked probing questions about how a conflict of interest was managed.

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Peters' comments come just days after Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones ruffled the feathers of the farming community by referring to protesters outside Parliament as "rednecks".

Ardern was asked about both Peters and Jones' comments at her weekly post-Cabinet press conference today and had the same response to both.

"It's not language I would use, or expect to be used."

But when pressed on the issue – particularly around Jones' statement – Ardern said although she didn't agree with the comments, that was the nature of MMP.

The Government is made up of NZ First and Labour in a coalition agreement. As Prime Minister, Ardern is Jones' boss – but as NZ First Leader, Jones' boss is also Peters.

This means that NZ First Ministers – usually Jones and Peters – have expressed views Ardern does not agree with.

"I express a personal view, and Minister Jones will express his – we won't always agree.

That is the nature of MMP politics in Government," Ardern said.

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Regional Development Economic Minister Shane Jones ruffled the feathers of the farming community by referring to protestors outside Parliament as
Regional Development Economic Minister Shane Jones ruffled the feathers of the farming community by referring to protestors outside Parliament as "rednecks".

"We're a coalition, we will take different positions."

She said things like use of language at a protest are not in the Cabinet manual guidelines – the rule book for Ministers.

"That ultimately comes down to a matter of an MP's own conduct."

This is by no means the first time Ardern has distanced herself from comments made by Jones or Peters.

Earlier this month she was forced to say she didn't agree with Jones' comments around Indian migrants.

Meanwhile, Ardern said Peters had managed a recent conflict of interest with a company he had personal ties with appropriately.

This morning, RNZ revealed a forestry company, with strong links to New Zealand First, applied for close to $100 million in Government funding under the One Billion Trees programme.

That programme is overseen Jones as by Forestry Minister.

But the company, NZ Future Forest Products Limited, was denied funding by officials.

The company has directors including Peters' lawyer – and NZ First judicial officer – Brian Henry and his son, David Henry.

Peters' partner, Jan Trotman, is also a director – but, according to RNZ, she was only appointed to the position a few days after the funding bid was rejected.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Peters dismissed any concerns and said the process was followed "meticulously".

"My conflict of interest was declared in advance ... my partner was not even part of the business when the application was made or when it was finalised."

Ardern agreed and said the bid had gone through a "rigorous process".

She would not, however, say if Peters had personally raised the conflict of interest with her – saying only the issue had been "dealt with appropriately is the advice I have received" when pressed.