New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has opened fire against "unreconstructed morons" after NZ First MP Shane Jones was photographed on holiday holding an AR-15 rifle.
Mr Peters is defending Mr Jones, telling Magic Talk host Peter Williams that his MP was just having fun "like most people do".
"The answer is, he was on holiday, yes. He walked into a place that offered those services and am I happy with that? Yes I am," Peters said.
"What I am not prepared to do though is standby with a whole lot of hopeless ne'er-do well critics who don't seem to have a life criticise someone for actually having a life."
Mr Jones was also criticized by political writer Richard Harman over the photo, and Mr Peters wasted no time putting his criticism down.
"You've got some unreconstructed morons in your profession and that's one of them," the Party Leader said.
"You go away on holiday and have a break and do unusual and different things and to impute anything else is sheer bulldust,” he added.