This story was first published on Tuesday July 31
A testy exchange has seen Winston Peters make fun of Simon Bridges' accent before labelling him a joke in Parliament's Question Time today.
The National Party leader was questioning the Acting Prime Minister about the state of the New Zealand economy when things got personal.
"What is the Government doing to keep ambitious young New Zealanders in the country considering a new mining job was advertised in Australia every six minutes, while here his Government has banned oil and gas exploration as well as mining on conservation land," Mr Bridges said.
Mr Peters then shot back, making fun of Mr Bridges accent.
"This Government has not banned oil and gas exploration and whatever that industry called 'mining' is, I am having difficulty trying to understand it."
The answer clearly didn't sit well with the National Party leader.
"Is the reality that when New Zealand has the worst business confidence in a decade, that has a flow on investment and jobs that all he can do is come down to this House and make jokes about it," Mr Bridges said.
Mr Peters wasn't swayed by Mr Bridges comments.
"I can't win the jokes stake I'm looking at one in terms of his ambition, but I want to tell that member that they can be as mealy mouthed and as doomsday as you like but they won't succeed in the polls or winning the next election," Mr Peters said.
"If they want to help, we welcome all the help they can give, but given their last nine years of abysmal performance I don't think so."
National Party MP Gerry Brownlee then raised a point of order that got him a warning from the Speaker of the House before Question Time moved on.