Mark Richardson has used an analogy for the "mechanical-minded" to describe the Government's current political strategy, which he believes has "backfired".
Richardson said the current Labour-led Government's main strategy is about intervention - "they believe in driving the economy via intervention," he said on The AM Show on Friday.
"The fuel of the intervention is funds and money," he said, adding that the strategy is backfiring, as a "mechanically-minded" person would describe it.
His comments came after criticisms around the Government's spending.
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A two-day strike is looming with nurses rejecting the latest pay rise offer, which Labour has described as the best they've had in more than a decade. Teachers are also considering industrial action, with meetings being held around the country to decide on a course of action.
"Rather than getting that fuel into the combustion chamber, and having it exploding off and driving in the direction they want it to drive, it's backfiring - they are suffering from backfire," Richardson said of the Government.
National MP Judith Collins made similar criticisms of the Government on Friday after Finance Minister Grant Robertson told The AM Show there's no more money left to offer nurses who have rejected the Government's latest offer.
"If only Phil [Twyford, Housing Minister] hadn't taken $2 billion for KiwiBuild and $2.8 billion for the tertiary free loans. They've spent it, that's the problem, on those big-ticket items," Ms Collins said.
Richardson said Ms Collins made "an important point" about "what's happening currently".
"[The Government's] intervention is not driving us in the direction that they want," he said.
The AM Show host Duncan Garner suggested the Government's strategy could become more "finely tuned" after three or four years and "take off", considering it's a new Government that's still getting its feet.
But Richardson said even if the Government does manage its finances effectively and thrive, there is no one to lead it.
"Who's at the wheel?" he said, in light of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern having her baby on Thursday and officially taking maternity leave.
However, New Zealand isn't exactly left leaderless. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters became Acting Prime Minister the moment Ms Ardern went into labour.