National Leader Simon Bridges has used his speech at Waitangi this afternoon to promise if elected this year, National would build a four-lane highway from Auckland to Whangarei.
But he immediately copped flak from New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters, who criticised Bridges for "politicising" Waitangi and "trampling all over the significance of the event".
"As Elvis would say: if you're looking for trouble, you've come to the right place," Peters said.
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In his speech at Waitangi, Bridges told those gathered that the Government wasn't doing enough for Māori and the people of the North.
His government, he promised, would build a four-lane highway into Northland.
This would help connect the region with medical care and the expertise which he said were required in the North.
"A government I lead will deliver that."
Peters, however, was not impressed and called out the National leader for playing politics.
"I'm making sure you don't get away with it," he said during an off-the-cuff speech.
Peters had not planned to speak but, according to NZ First Minister Shane Jones, Peters felt the need to "set the record straight".
He was not optimistic about Bridges' highway plans.
"The plan you were talking about … was going to take 68 years to reach Whangarei; do you fancy your chances of being able to live to see it?"
Peters claimed that he would be able to deliver the road faster.
Speaking to media after the speeches had concluded, Bridges rejected Peters' criticisms.
He said there has "always been politics at Waitangi" but this year NZ First "clearly wanted to shut that down".
He said every speech today contained some element of politics, as has every Waitangi speech that he said he has been to."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's listed the Government's achievements, and areas it needed to do more work in, during her speech this afternoon.
Bridges said: "What we see is they don't want an Opposition National Party that is able to say what it thinks on these things, as all oppositions have at Waitangi for a very long time.
Trying to shut him down, he said, was "very cynical".
"They don't want to answer the hard questions and they haven't delivered for New Zealanders."
The scrap comes just days after National ruled out working with NZ First in any capacity after this year's election.