Associate Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro has been forced to apologise to the Prime Minister after making inflammatory comments at a National Party conference in Auckland.
Mr Ngaro hinted Labour list candidate Willie Jackson could lose support for his interest in a second charter school if he bags National on the campaign.
"We are not happy about people taking with one hand and throwing with the other," he told the conference, according to Newsroom.
"If you get up on the campaign trail and start bagging us, then all the things you are doing are off the table. They will not happen."
Mr Ngaro also said he'd been "to see Willie Jackson at Waatea Marae", which Mr Jackson denied.
Mr Jackson told Newsroom he would "bash National whether I was in Labour or not".
Finance Minister Stephen Joyce told Newshub Mr Ngaro’s comments weren’t damaging to National, just "a little bit of naivety from the new guy".
"Alfred’s realised he’s overstepped the mark there," Mr Joyce said.
Political commentator Matthew Hooton said if Mr Ngaro has been quoted correctly, he'd need to be fired for "almost boasting of corruption".
NZ First leader Winston Peters accused National of using shady tactics to get their way politically.
"What National is doing is cutting people off at the knees, regardless of what they are doing in the community, if they don't agree with National's neo-liberal, right-wing agenda," he said.
NZN / Newshub.