Winston Peters hits back at leak claiming 'revenge' plans

  • 26/09/2017

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has fired back after a party source told Newshub's Patrick Gower he was seeking revenge on National.

According to the source, Mr Peters blamed National's campaign manager Steven Joyce for orchestrating a four-pronged attack against him.

The source said Mr Peters was seeking utu - revenge - as coalition talks get underway for the new Government.

But Mr Peters has lashed out in a heated press release titled 'Newshub's world of make-believe', which was also shared on his Facebook page.

"Whatever Patrick Gower and the Newshub producers are on, they should get off it," Mr Peters said.

He called reports from the past two nights, which covered the upcoming coalition talks, "fiction" and "grossly misleading".

He would not elaborate on which parts he claimed were fictional but instead dismissed the reports as "bare-faced lies".

"This news broadcaster is claiming sources that don't exist, and is merely toying with viewers and presenting make-believe instead of facts," Mr Peters said.

He said other outlets were also participating in what he denounced as "the very worst form of journalism", but did not name the offending outlets.

He said the reports weren't going to have "any bearing" on NZ First's upcoming coalition talks.

In his report on Tuesday, Gower said the NZ First sources had a strategy behind the leaks.

"This is all a clear play by NZ First to get the message out there that it's not a done deal with National, and they're deliberately getting the message out to raise the stakes in the negotiations," he said.

Mr Peters secured the king - or queen-maker position in the election this weekend, with both parties needing him to gain a majority to form a Government.

He's repeatedly refused to discuss who he will side with, saying he doesn't want to rush into it.