A Washington Post article claiming New Zealand First is a far-right party "poisoning" the country is "malicious" and was not written by a sane person, the Deputy Prime Minister says.
Defending his party, Winston Peters suggested the New Zealand-based author had escaped from an insane asylum before publishing the piece, which argued the impact of the far-right was already being felt through the Government's plans to ban foreign buyers purchasing existing homes.
It also accused Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of kow-towing to Mr Peters "increasingly extreme" demands in order to secure Government.
"No sound, sane person could have written that malicious, totally false statement," Mr Peters said from Vietnam on Friday (NZ time).
Ms Ardern laughed off the report, saying having been compared herself to US President Donald Trump - by both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times - Mr Peters was in good company.
"I'd suggest that the Washington Post probably hasn't interviewed anyone from New Zealand First, or potentially even a voter, before making those assumptions," she said in defence of her coalition partner.
The column, written by New Zealand-based writer Ben Mack, said the coalition Government appealed to "ethnically homogenous, overwhelmingly cisgender male voters with limited education and economic prospects" and was allowing "bigotry and hate [to] continue to fester in Middle-earth".
The article was widely mocked on social media, with Twitter users calling it "total bollocks", "ridiculously uninformed" and "the worst piece of journalism I have ever read".
The Villainesse website ,which Mr Mack has contributed to in the past, said in a tweet it would not have published the piece.
NZN / Newshub.