Winston Peters is describing the Government's immigration policy as "population stupidity" but Prime Minister John Key doesn't have a problem with the latest record-breaking statistics.
There was a net migration gain of 67,400 in the 12 months to the end of February, led by arrivals from Australia, China and the Philippines.
The NZ First leader says Mr Key is disconnected from reality.
"Like some addict on a drug, he just comes back for more," Mr Peters said.
"Regional New Zealand will go on paying for this consumptive population stupidity but there is a day of reckoning, and it is here now."
Mr Peters says most immigrants go to Auckland, where demand for housing, health and education outstrips supply."
But Mr Key says the big gains are positive for the country.
"People work out where the best opportunities are and what you're seeing is more people coming back from Australia, a lot of returning New Zealanders," he told reporters.
"People are coming for a variety of reasons, like working holidays, and at the same time you're seeing the unemployment rate fall."
Mr Key says immigrants also come in through the skilled category areas.
"The IT sector is growing by about 3000 jobs a year, and some of that is because people come in with the skills to support it."