Winston Peters reveals 'infection' delayed return to work after operation

An infection delayed Winston Peters from returning to work after an operation in August, the Acting Prime Minister says.

Peters filled in for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in her weekly spot on the AM Show while she's overseas meeting other world leaders.

Conversation quickly turned to Paula Bennett's disastrous attempt to send Peters flowers after the operation, which he publicly refused.

"She sent me a handful of... daffodils, in a ribbon and then course before she did that she text two of her media mates.

"Do you think there's any genuineness and sincerity in that sort of behaviour? And I called her out."

It's not the first time Peters has accused Bennett of skimping on the flowers, he called them "cheap and nasty" a week ago, comments which Bennet refused to respond to publicly.

Peters said he was in hospital for a "serious" operation which unfortunately led to complications.

"I got an infection, that's what set me back so far. But I'm glad to say I'm back and I'm fighting fit so to speak."

Peters' return to Parliament was delayed when he wasn't given clearance to fly, forcing him to work from home until getting the okay from specialists.

He's still refusing to say what the operation was, aside from that it was on an old rugby injury.

"If you want to pay my bill I'll tell you," he told The AM Show.

Peters would not say what the bill was.