National MP Paula Bennett and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters battled over Minister Clare Curran and refugees during Question Time on Thursday.
Mr Peters was answering on behalf of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, facing questions from Ms Bennett over the performance of Ms Curran and the Government's refugee policy.
Ms Bennett asked whether Ms Curran set "the benchmark standard" that Ms Arden expected her Ministers to perform to.
"The Prime Minister has made it very public that she did not think that a certain standard had been met, and that's why she took action. That's been known for some considerable time," Mr Peters replied.
She then asked if Ms Curran's performance in the House on Wednesday, when she struggled to answer questions from National MP Melissa Lee, met Ms Ardern's standards.
"The Prime Minister has to confess that she wasn't in the House yesterday. But we all have an off day and no one would understand that better than the member asking the question," Mr Peters said.
Mr Peters said the refugee quota had not yet gone through Cabinet to be set at 1500, and said under the coalition it was "a work in progress".
He also hit out at media reporting of the issue, calling a reporter an "airhead" and hitting out at a "stupid, false media question".
Watch the video to see their debate