Willie Jackson defends Grant Robertson decision to pull out of weekly Magic Talk slot, slams host Peter Williams

Labour party MP Willie Jackson says the decision made for Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson to pull out of his weekly Magic Talk slot was not made lightly while accusing host Peter Williams of "spouting climate denial nonsense and "anti-vax quackery".

Robertson backed out from his radio slot with Williams this week after he was asked about 'The Great Reset' - an initiative adopted by conspiracy theorists.

The Great Reset is a project launched by the World Economic Forum (WEF) aimed to rebuild the economic state in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the initiative has since set off conspiracy theories, claiming it's been fuelled by coincidences such as President Joe Biden's campaign slogan 'Build Back Better'.

"Oh Peter, I think it's actually reasonably absurd that you raise that on the programme today," Robertson said when asked about whether New Zealand is going to be part of the campaign.

"My understanding, which I've only recently read about this, is this is a giant conspiracy theory."

Robertson's office later contacted Williams to explain why he would no longer appear on the show, explaining he doesn't want to have to shoot down conspiracy theories.

Jackson on Sunday defended Robertson's move to pull out of the talk show and said Williams was "giving oxygen to false ideas in an age of disinformation".

"The decision by our Deputy Prime Minister, Grant Robertson to walk away from Peter Williams' Magic Talk show was not lightly made," he wrote on Facebook.

"As politicians in a democracy, we are obliged to make ourselves available to the media so that we can be challenged on the important issues of the day and this Government welcomes the scrutiny of the functioning fourth estate.

"Peter Williams sadly is not part of a functioning fourth estate. Spouting climate denial nonsense, anti-vax quackery and now global conspiracies.

"Broadcasters and journalists don't always get it right, but giving oxygen to false ideas in an age of disinformation is dangerous."

In his interview with Robertson, Williams argued his questioning of the 'The Great Reset' was valid because it originated from the WEF, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has previously spoken at.

Williams said it was "important" then that the Deputy Prime Minister dismisses the idea. But he then asked Robertson to confirm there was no connection.

The following day, Williams acknowledged the show sometimes "upsets and offends" people.

"That's that; a couple of questions about the WEF's so-called 'Great Reset' and the Deputy Prime Minister throws his toys out of the cot," he told listeners.

"My question is: did I hit a nerve with him yesterday?

"I always thought Grant Robertson was a level-headed, amenable, approachable sort of bloke who loved his footy and didn't mind a beer but something has set him off big time, and it looks like that's the end of a beautiful relationship on this radio station."