Winston Peters is not satisfied with Spark's first foray into livestreaming the Rugby World Cup, describing his own experience with the service as a "disaster".
Peters, filling in as Acting Prime Minister while PM Jacinda Ardern is in New York this week, talked about his experience streaming the rugby during his post-Cabinet press conference on Monday.
"I watched it on my cellphone... Not too flash actually, I mean, it's a leap back to the black and white days," Peters, also New Zealand First leader, said after watching the All Blacks vs Springboks match on Saturday night.
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Peters described the experience as a "disaster", telling media he felt for the "thousands of New Zealanders" who had "paid the money, took the promise and [were] watching this critical game on which so much depended".
Spark Sport CEO Jolie Hodson told The AM Show on Monday morning the streaming problem some experienced was a "configuration" issue with one of its US-based partners, which has now been fixed.
She said the system was well-tested before the tournament kicked off last week, but the configuration problem wasn't spotted.
Peters said "we'll find out" if Spark's telling the truth about the source of the glitch.
He said Kris Faafoi, Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, has been in touch with Spark over the issues.
"We do hope that Spark are on top of it and I suggest that they better be," Peters said.
ACT leader David Seymour criticised Peters for speaking out against Spark, describing the Deputy PM's comments as "amateur hour".
"Spark is a private company. There is nothing the Government can or should do to make its technology work," Seymour said in a statement Monday afternoon.
"To grandstand on something entirely outside his control is an indulgence in distraction and an insult to the voter."
Seymour said it was the "kind of grandstanding Mr Peters displayed when he promised to lead miners into Pike River".
"I suppose this time he'll be offering to jump up a telephone pole and fix the wires."
Spark, formerly Telecom New Zealand, was formed in 1987 from a division of the New Zealand Post Office, and it was privatised in 1990.
Its name was changed to Spark in 2014.
Peters said privatisation of the company was a "disaster".