Winston Peters has denied New Zealand First hired pro-Brexit campaigners Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore who plan to bring "mischief, mayhem and guerrilla warfare" to the New Zealand election.
Banks, co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign which advocated for the UK to leave the European Union, told The Telegraph a team had been dispatched to Auckland to help bring New Zealand First's vote share to as high as 12 percent.
"We have deployed our top social media team and data experts to do all the creative work, Andy and I are giving Winston strategic advice," he said. "Since 2016 we have known Winston, he is a huge supporter of the Commonwealth and watched first-hand the referendum campaign."
But in a statement released on Tuesday, Peters "scoffed" at suggestions a team of six political operatives had been dispatched to Auckland, because "it is impossible to see how they would even gain entry into the country".
Banks was one of the largest donors to the UK Independence Party, which The Telegraph described as the UK's version of New Zealand First. Banks helped former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage's pro-Brexit campaign.
The insurance executive was cleared nine months ago of any criminality by the UK's National Crime Agency over £8 million (NZ$15.2 million) in EU referendum campaign funding.
Banks described Peters as a "more seasoned version of Farage with massive government experience" and likened him to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
"He is one of very few current politicians that speaks fluent human and can relate to anyone, he's in the same mould as Boris they speak truth on behalf of the ordinary people. He is always on the side of the people."
Andy Wigmore, communications director for Leave.EU who describes himself on Twitter as the "Bad Boy of Brexit", told The Telegraph New Zealand could expect "trouble" from them at the September election.
"I'm going to be on ground in New Zealand causing trouble - mischief, mayhem and guerrilla warfare in the New Zealand election - the bad boys are back."
Peters' statement said New Zealand First would make no further comment on "this rubbish".
Banks, according to The Telegraph, accused Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of being groomed for a bigger job at an international body like the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Prime Minister denied that's her intention and pushed back against the campaigners' claims of coming to New Zealand.
"I wouldn't necessarily make an assumption that someone offshore that's touting for work is ultimately going to be able to do what they claim."
The latest Newshub-Reid Research Poll showed New Zealand First on 2.7 percent which is below the 5 percent threshold to get into Parliament on the party vote.
On that percentage, New Zealand First would need to win an electorate seat to get in, and Labour leader Ardern has ruled out a special Epsom-like deal to help them.