Winston Peters in fiery morning exchange with reporters

NZ First leader Winston Peters has accused media of treating the election like a first-past-the-post campaign rather than MMP.

Speaking from Northland, Mr Peters also claimed media had propped up ACT and had been "sucking up" to the main parties.

"You ran a first-past-the-post campaign in an MMP environment and things suffer for that, and I'm just grateful we survived. I always knew this was going to be one crap campaign the way things were shaping up." 

Mr Peters said this campaign had seen the end of "puppets" propped up by National and the media.

He said ACT was "the most expensive beneficiary in this country propped up by you guys", and United Future and the Māori Party were propped up by National.

Mr Peters reflected on Te Ururoa Flavell's time in Parliament, saying he was a "marvellous person", but his politics were mistaken.

"Te Ururoa is a marvellous New Zealander. He's the classic kind of person you need in this country a millionfold.

"His politics were the kind of politics from the sociology department of the University of Auckland.  It's actually trash for Maori, it won't help Māori and that's why it went down."

Mr Peters said he had "already" served Māori better than Labour did.

"I've been to the war for things that are right, but I don't go to war for racist things," he said.