Winston Peters dismisses accusation 'race-baiting' led to home invasion of Te Pāti Māori candidate Hana-Rāwhiti Maipi-Clarke

Just two weeks out from the election, Winston Peters continues to dismiss accusations of race-baiting - instead accusing Te Pāti Māori of being "racist". 

The Māori Party said in a statement on Friday the home of Hana-Rāwhiti Maipi-Clarke, its Hauraki-Waikato candidate, was invaded and vandalised - saying it was a "politically motivated attack". 

A police spokesperson confirmed to Newshub it was "making enquiries into a report of a burglary of a residential address in Huntly", reported on Monday.

Peters has been accused of race-baiting on the campaign trail and Te Pāti Māori alleged the home invasion was "what happens when right-wing politicians race-bait and fearmonger for votes". 

However, he dismissed the race-baiting accusations when asked about them on Newshub Nation. 

"This is simply lazy journalism," he said on Saturday. 

"Stop your lazy journalism, this is a lie," Peters told host Rebecca Wright. 

The veteran politician, who has been campaigning on stopping co-governance, went on to say Te Pāti Māori was "racist", not his party New Zealand First. 

"I've said from the word go, 'I will never work with that party because it's based on race,'" Peters told Newshub Nation. 

"Don't you understand how... racist they are?" 

Wright questioned Peters on whether he considered the home invasion of a politician unacceptable. 

Peters hit back: "You just frivolously made that up saying, somehow, us calling them out for being a bunch of racists... and, all of a sudden, I'm responsible for that?  

"Give me a break," he said. 

Wright again attempted to push Peters on the issue, saying it was "bubbling over". 

Peters interrupted: "No, you'll be better informed when this is over and so will the media, but you're not going to win this campaign." 

On Friday, Māori leaders called for an end to dog-whistling and racial division in an open letter - which was dismissed by ACT leader David Seymour as "purely political".

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