Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters today told journalists to stop the "narrow, myopic dirt when NZ First is concerned", when questioned about National's call for the Auditor General to investigate a company that has links to NZ First.
He was asked about the matter by 1 NEWS' Benedict Collins and a Newshub reporter today, and appeared to label one a "psycho".
"Yes, I am calling you psycho, because you can't event even make out the case," he said.
“You’ve got to be psychologically maladjusted if you can’t make a case out for an investigation and you think it’s sound. The laugh’s on you because you’re meant to be a journalist.”
The exchange comes after RNZ reported the company NZ Future Forest Products made two funding bids to the Provincial Growth Fund and from the One Billion Trees Programme.
Its founding director Brian Henry is Mr Peters' lawyer and Jan Trotman, Mr Peters’ partner is also a director of the company.
The One Billion Trees bid was rejected by officials in August and the PGF bid was rejected by Labour Ministers in November, RNZ reported.
Days after, the One Billion Trees bid was turned down, Ms Trotman was appointed as a director of the company.
"An application is made, it goes through the process with no involvement of members and Ministers you're criticising and the application failed," Mr Peters said today.
"In other words, the system worked so stop your narrow, myopic dirt when NZ First is concerned, cos' we're not gonna take it."
Mr Peters said today, "my partner is an executive director, (was) not even on the board when the application was made".
"My question is, why are you asking stupid questions, when the process was followed meticulously, any conflict of interest was declared in advance, the person you're attacking, in the case of my partner, was not even part of the business when the application was made or when it was finalised - that's a detail you lazy guys need to get your head around.
"We're not going to have you running off in a psycho-case of attack on a political party without any grounds whatsoever."