Winston Peters did not want to talk about Opposition Leader Todd Muller on The Country today.

The Deputy Prime Minister told Jamie Mackay he was tired of discussing National Party leaders when he should be talking about regional issues, rural people - and NZ First.

"Why on Earth am I talking about the 10th National Party Leader since I've been in politics?"

Peters' ire was raised further after Mackay suggested Muller could be his "only option" to form a coalition government in this year's election.

Advertisement

"With respect, I'm going to ask you again. I'm on your show to talk about a party called New Zealand First and the great things we're doing for regional/provincial New Zealand and standing up for people who listen to this radio station."

The Deputy PM warmed to his theme, stating that NZ First was the only party with regional Kiwis' interests at heart, "unlike the other guys that come on your radio station".

"The moment they get off the radio station they go straight to the big end of town and start looking up international banks and foreign money - I talk about the provinces and the regions - the one party and the only party you've got standing on your side.

"So I come on your show and you want to waste my valuable time, and yours, and your listeners' time talking about the latest National Party Leader. How many have I seen? A procession of people. Last time I was on your show it was Simon Bridges. Now it's Todd Muller.

"Now if you can't prop them up - maybe they're not good enough?"

The Emissions Trading Scheme was a good example of the Government listening to rural people's concerns, Peters said.

"When it comes to riparian fencing we've taken it from five metres to three metres, which is what the farming community asked us."

Changes in nitrogen levels was also something farmers would appreciate, according to Peters.

Advertisement

"When it comes to nitrogen fertiliser we're saying that 80 per cent plus [of] farmers won't be affected and we're going to help the other farmers who will be because we realise this is a nationwide big city, small country problem as well."

Listen to the full interview below:

The Government committing millions to jobs in Budget 2020 as well as fixing up waterways would benefit the agricultural sector, said Peters, who managed to get one more jab in about "other parties".

"We've made sure, unlike other political parties that would come along and hammer the farmer - we've said the farmer is the backbone of this economy, we've always said that long before Covid-19 and we're going to make sure that farmers get a fair go.

"When was the last time somebody in the National Party stood up for the ordinary farmer in this country?"

Also in today's interview: Peters discussed people protesting during level 2 and why polls are "stupid" and "rubbish".