New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has labelled the National Party a bunch of "sex maniacs".
The National Party declined to comment when approached by the Herald about the slur made by Peters during an interview with Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning.
In his first interview since declaring a move back into politics yesterday, Peters was responding to a criticism from people saying he made the wrong choice by siding with Labour to form the 2017 coalition government.
He said he had no other choice.
"I say to them, I know you're probably a ranting National Party supporter but you look at the sex maniacs and the mess that they're in now and tell me, what option did I have? Come on, talk to anyone.
"You've seen one after the other go, can you please tell me what option I had if that was what I had to go with.
"And I was a guy who was with the National Party before a lot of those people were even born".
While in coalition with Labour, Peters said proposals did come forward but NZ First made it as "clear as daylight" that those policies couldn't work.
"Some, you could say, that were 'nutty'."
Peters said he didn't accept the criticism that he was the "handbrake" that prevented any advancement for the past coalition government.
"Handbrakes are a critical component in a very unsafe vehicle."
While National wouldn't respond to Peters' outburst about their recent performance, Peters wasn't shy in putting the boot into Labour's latest policies including a move to dedicate a lane of the Auckland Harbour Bridge to cyclists.
"I have never seen such bad policy."
NZ First AGM - Peters fires off shots
Peters said he had no intention of retiring just yet and said his party will be back in 2023.
He used the party's AGM to slam most key parties and their policies including Labour, National, the Greens, the use of the word "Aotearoa" instead of "New Zealand" in Government reports, the Auckland cycle bridge, Auckland light rail, the vaccine rollout and "Ngāti Woke".
It was his first major appearance since NZ First failed to return to Parliament last year.
Peters accused Labour of bad faith politics last term by "deliberately" suppressing the He Puapua report, for "breath-taking economic illiteracy" in its feebate scheme, and for pushing through infrastructure – such as Auckland's $785 million cycle bridge – without doing the proper costings.
"This [He Puapua] report is a recipe for Māori separatism. They knew it and that's why they suppressed it till after the election … it was a gesture of ingratitude and bad faith.
"Growing in our country is a 'cancel culture' where anyone who asks legitimate questions is belittled as a colonialist, a racist, a bigot, a chauvinist, or worse still, not new wokage."