Winston Peters launches attack on Newshub journalist Michael Morrah ahead of fishing boat camera investigative report

New Zealand First is fending off criticism ahead of a Newshub investigative report on New Zealand's fisheries industry.

On Tuesday's Newshub Live at 6pm, Newshub Investigations Reporter Michael Morrah will reveal the politics behind delays in introducing cameras on fishing boats - and who's responsible.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has released a statement before it goes it air, defending his party's actions.

"As the Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash will attest, New Zealand First raised legitimate concerns about cameras on boats, namely their cost and who would be able to access the data," he said.

"New Zealand First can also confirm that it was Mr Nash's office who asked to delay the introduction of cameras on boats, not us."

Plans to have the cameras installed on all boats were delayed by the Government in late 2018, then delayed again in June 2020 to push the implementation date out to 2021.

Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash said this was due to camera technology not being ready and too expensive. He also said NZ First backed his efforts to get cameras on boats.

However tonight Newshub will reveal what else has been going on behind the scenes. 

Peters is calling it "the worst form of unethical tabloid journalism".

"What is appalling is how clickbait journalism is affecting the public's right to be informed accurately about government policy," he said.

"Newshub's 'shock horror' special investigation will be as shallow as the motives behind its creation, and highlight once again some in the New Zealand's media's inability to understand how coalitions work."

Morrah has covered the fishing industry for a decade and stands by his reporting.

"The public can make their own mind up tonight on Newshub Live at 6pm about whether this is clickbait journalism as Peters has claimed," he says.

"I strongly reject any such suggestion, and I believe this story is in the public interest."