Newstalk ZB breakfast host Mike Hosking says the Prime Minister is "running for the hills" and lacks a backbone after Jacinda Ardern cancelled her regular weekly interview with him.
Instead, Ardern says she and and other ministers will now appear on the country's top-performing commercial radio show "as and when issues arise".
Hosking said Ardern was "running for the hills" and the Government was "over being held to account".
"She no longer wants to be on this programme each week. The somewhat tragic conclusion that is drawn is the questions she gets, the demand for a level of accountability ... [is] a little bit tough," Hosking told listeners this morning.
"They are just over being held to account.
"Without being too unkind to some of the other players in this market, the reality is the Prime Minister enjoys a more cordial and more compliant relationship with them. The questions are more softball, she favours a more benign pitch where the delivery can be dispatched to the boundary more readily with no obvious chance of an appeal," he said.
A statement from the Prime Minister's office to Newstalk ZB said: "The Prime Minister's schedule of media appearances has been reviewed and while it hasn't reduced overall, it has changed.
"The Prime Minister will no longer do a weekly slot specifically on the ZB morning show.
"However she, and all her ministers, will continue to appear on the show as and when issues arise."
Hosking told listeners this morning: "To be honest, I'm pleased. The management here not quite as much. They argue accountability is important. And they're right, but what I argue [is] the PM is a lightweight at answering tough questions.
"The number of times she's fronted on this programme with no knowledge around the questions I'm asking is frightening.
"The time I asked whether they were replacing the Tauranga City Council she replied 'they didn't do such things', clearly not having the slightest clue they were in a month or so going to do exactly that. Those occasions are too many to be comfortable.
"The reality is, too often, it's just noise, it's waffle, it's stalling, it's filling, it's obfuscation. She should be up for it. It speaks to a lack of backbone that she would want to bail and run. It also speaks to an increasingly apparent trait: they don't handle pressure well. I lose no sleep, I'm just a bit disappointed she isn't a more robust operator."
National leader Judith Collins weighed in, labelling the move a "shame".
"Shame the PM doesn't have time for Newstalk ZB on Monday morning. All those tough questions ..." she wrote on Twitter.
Ardern's decision to step away from her regular slot with Newstalk ZB is a bold move, with the regular segment on air for more than 30 years.
Newstalk ZB's Paul Holmes was the first host of the regular segment with New Zealand's prime ministers, interviewing various leaders on the show over the years starting in 1987.
David Lange was the prime minister at the time the segment started.
However, it's not the first time a prime minister has declined to appear regularly on a segment with a New Zealand broadcaster.
In 2011, John Key repeatedly turned down a number of interview requests with RNZ's Morning Report.
The Prime Minister's office has been contacted for further comment.