The news that Air New Zealand has been promoting an American meat-free burger has not been received well by some rural people and Winston Peters is no exception.

The acting Prime Minister spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay saying the airline's move was "kowtowing to America."

"Why don't we promote our own actors, our own people and promote our own country?" says Peters, referring to a recent in-flight video featuring American fitness instructor Richard Simmons.

Read more: Impossible burger a 'slap in the face'

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As for the "Impossible burger," Peters says Air New Zealand should remember its roots.

"When Air New Zealand was in trouble, it was bailed out by the tax payer and by a lot of farming and agricultural money ... and the meat industry, that is genuine meat and not fake meat is what we're about."

Also in today's interview: Winston Peters talks about the union movement and New Zealand's business confidence.

Listen below: