Winston Peters says he'll continue to lead New Zealand First if party backs him

Winston Peters says he will stick around to lead New Zealand First into the next election if his party decides it still wants him in charge.

The politician has kept a low profile since his party failed to get reelected in last year's general election, but made a rare public appearance over the weekend at New Zealand First's AGM.

Speaking to Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB, Peters said as long as he remains "fit and motivated" and has the backing of his party he will lead NZ First into the 2023 election.

Peters' comments come after a fiery speech at the AGM on Sunday, where he said NZ First was a "phoenix that will again arise as the public wake up to the inexactitude of his Government and a hapless National Party".

On Monday, Peters again expressed frustration at those running the country, as well as at opposition parties.

"That's why I gave that speech yesterday, because I am just sick and tired of people without mandated authority or, dare I say it, intelligence, doing some of the things they're doing," he told Hosking.

He said the current Government had some policies "you simply cannot explain".

"It's just economic lunacy and in terms of a country's social cohesion and its chance of going forward together they're very, very dangerous policies that are being followed."

Peters criticised a number of recent moves by the Labour Government, including how it dealt with the controversy over Ihumātao and its plan to build a cycling and walking bridge across the Waitematā Harbour.

He said Labour had proposed a number of "nutty" policies while in coalition with NZ First but "we made it clear as daylight you cannot in any way sustain on an economic basis and on a basis of intelligence and logic the validity of this playbook or policy."

He also defended his party's role as a "handbrake" for Labour while in coalition.

"It's like in a vehicle - a handbrake is a critical component and it would be a very unsafe vehicle without that."

New Zealand First received only 2.6 percent of the vote in 2020, well under the 5 percent threshold required to enter parliament if no candidate wins a seat.