Winston Peters says Simon Bridges "probably only gets one call a month" as he defended the Prime Minister over the Derek Handley saga in Parliament today.
Mr Handley this morning released a statement and redacted email and text correspondence between himself and Jacinda Ardern, and then Minister Clare Curran about the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) role and his move back to New Zealand.
Ms Ardern sent Mr Handley her private email address but says she never responded to an email from him about the CTO role.
Today in Parliament's Question Time Mr Bridges grilled Mr Peters, who was answering on behalf of the Prime Minister, about the issue.
"Why did the Prime Minister text Derek Handley her personal email address rather than her work one when Mr Handley's text clearly show he wanted to contact her in the capacity of Prime Minister about how he could quote, 'best serve you in New Zealand and about the CTO role,'" the National Party leader asked.
Mr Peters argued that part of the question was "demonstrably false".
"The member was going fine in the framework for that question until he said about the CTO role, that part of the question is demonstrably false and the transcripts show that.
"So to go back to my primary point, the Prime Minister was clearly asked from someone who is interested in rejoining New Zealand's economy, can I possibly get in contact with you and being the friendly honest person that she is she sent him her private information, we're doing it all the time.
"I don't know what he does (Simon Bridges) but then again, he probably only gets a call once a month," Mr Peters said.
An offer to Mr Handley for the CTO role was retracted by the Government earlier in the month, resulting in a $100,000 pay out to the entrepreneur.