Winston Peters to undergo 'surgical procedure' after 'experiencing food poisoning symptoms and dehydration'

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. Photo credit: Newshub

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is taking a "short stint of medical leave" after "experiencing food poisoning symptoms" and has been advised to undergo a surgical procedure.

Peters, 75, visited his doctor earlier in the week after experiencing the food poisoning symptoms and dehydration, and has advised to undergo a surgical procedure whilst Parliament is in recess, a statement from his office said.

"This is an unexpected medical event and of course unexpected timing. However the doctor's advice on having surgery needs to be followed," Peters said in the statement on Thursday.

Following a brief hospital visit Peters will have a post-operative period of recuperation at home.

"I remain confident of a quick return to work - as well as being fighting fit for the election campaign, which is typically physically gruelling."

The unexpected timing of the medical leave means New Zealand First will combine its campaign launch with the party's annual general meeting on Sunday, July 19.

New Zealand First will hold its 'Force from North' launch on Sunday 12 July, focusing on Northland and Whangarei candidates Shane Jones and David Wilson, respectively. 

In August 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Peters would take a week off for a surgical procedure after suffering from what she believed was an old rugby injury.

A month later, Peters said his return was delayed because of an infection.