National Party leader Simon Bridges says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is refusing to punish Kris Faafoi because it's Christmas time.
The embattled Cabinet minister has apologised for his poor handling of an immigration case involving his old friend, Opshop singer Jason Kerrison.
He denied doing anything wrong, instead saying he "stupidly created an impression through my messages that I was following up on it when in fact I wasn't".
Bridges called for Faafoi's head to roll earlier on Friday, the apology not changing the Opposition leader's mind.
"I think what it shows is New Zealanders expect and deserve better than this. It's weak leadership from the Prime Minister. In a Government I lead, he'd be gone."
Faafoi got a "stern talking to" by Ardern, but Bridges wants her to take action.
"The reality is he's been caught red-handed. Nothing's happened, there's been no investigation. All he's had to do is come up with an unbelievable story and the Prime Minister accepts it all... I think close to Christmas, she can't be bothered looking into this."
National MP Paul Goldsmith told The AM Show on Friday he'd be toast if he did the same in a Bridges Prime Ministership.
"You'd be spreading your peanut butter on me right now."