Winston Peters responds to Simon Bridges' 'my sweetheart' comment

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay. A day earlier, National Party leader Simon Bridges was on the radio show and referred to the Deputy Prime Minister as, "my sweetheart Winston".

Mr Peters swiftly dismissed the question of whether Bridges had changed his mind about the former and is willing to do a deal with NZ First.

"Look I don't care what Simon thinks. When you say you're going to rule me out, that's fine Simon - but they're going to rule you out before they even come to think about me."

"I can see the National Party making the phone call anyway, regardless of what he says. So that sort of stupid talk will get you nowhere," Mr Peters added.

The NZ First leader also scored Bridges' poor approval ratings.

"In the end, it's very arrogant ... His polling's abysmal, I mean the internal polls of the National Party are at 25 per cent."

"I'd be a bit more humble about it if I was him, rather than going around talking about ruling out somebody whose party is definitely going to come back," Mr Peters added.

He then discussed why the rural community should vote for NZ First instead of National:

"Everybody out on the farm if they're actually honest has to admit that with the dollar being far further down than it was under the National Party - for heaven's sake it was about 80 cents US under the National Party sometimes - well we've got it at a level far more remunerative for farming."

"We're dealing with the Three Waters and the changes there will be of enormous assistance to farmers. We've made a commitment to ensure that the change was a change we would pay for - not them."

"We've been out there working our butt off to get international markets open for the farming community and we've changed the Resource Management Act as well which the National Party for nine years did exactly nothing about," the NZ First leader added.

"So if I was a farmer out there I'd buy some serious insurance and I'd think about voting for New Zealand First on my second vote most definitely."

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