Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has responded to criticism after he posted a photo of himself fishing amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
Peters posted the photo to social media on Monday and immediately sparked debate over whether he should be fishing or not.
He was not breaking alert level 4 lockdown rules as he was on his own property, but the photo attracted widespread attention on social media and divided New Zealanders - some of whom were critical of Peters' actions. His actions were also condemned by The AM Show's hosts on Tuesday who slammed it as a "d**k move".
Asked by Magic Talk's Peter Williams if he was trying to stir people up by posting the photo, Peters said, "Mr Williams, some of your colleagues need to get a sense of humour [and] a sense of balance".
The Deputy Prime Minister said on Tuesday the criticism was "extraordinary".
"I'm on my front lawn, inside my bubble, behaving inside the law, doing things properly and some couldn't help themselves and decide to try [to] make a big issue out of it," Peters told Magic Talk.
He said people were making "a marlin out of a sprat".
"If you're standing on your front lawn and you're throwing a rod into the water in front of you inside your bubble, the Coastguard is not going to be required in any way shape or form."
He said, however, he wasn't surprised by the criticism, adding people couldn't help but show their "political bias".
When probed by reporters about Peters' photo on Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she hadn't seen it.
"We've set out the expectations around people using boats to go out and undertake certain activities because of the risk that it poses.
"I can't give you a specific response to what you've just put to me because again I'm giving you the general rules at this time."
Earlier on Tuesday, The AM Show sports reader Mark Richardson, who was involved in a feud with Peters last year over comments the Deputy Prime Minister made about the impending sale of MediaWorks TV, condemned the fishing photo.
"I think what Winston was doing wasn't against the rules but it was bloody against the spirit of the game," Richardson said.