NZ First leader Winston Peters today revealed why he had to take the last fortnight off to recover from an unexpected surgery.
“Some raw meat,” he told reporters in Auckland at his party’s combined campaign launch and 27th convention.
“Thought it was cooked but it wasn’t.”
He said people need to be careful what they ate on the road.
Mr Peters said people “had no idea how sick I was, after something I ate up north and had a terrible reaction”.
He said the raw meat set off another condition, but that he was a “very blessed and lucky person” because he recovered.
“I went into hospital and got the best possible outcome on the operation and I feel great.
“I want to thank all of you people praying for me whilst I was there, hoping I'd come back.”
He said he was ready to go and feeling well for the election campaign ahead.
When asked how many elections he had left in him, given he was 75-years-old, he pointed to the Prime Minister of Malaysia who retired at 95.
“I do not intend to duplicate that, but thanks for the vote of confidence,” Mr Peters said.
He said NZ First’s focus for the election was to provide “a sound voice for logic and common sense” by holding the Government to account.
Mr Peters said the party would do this by “accelerat[ing] great ideas” and challenging “bad ideas”.
NZ First's convention ends at midday tomorrow, with its campaign launch coming in the afternoon.
Mr Peters is expected to deliver a speech tomorrow setting out his party's priorities in the lead up to the election.