The Green Party accused New Zealand First of "race-baiting" after the Party raised questions over how Kurdish-Iranian author Behrouz Boochani was granted refugee status in New Zealand.
"It's really disappointing and New Zealand deserves and will demand better this election," Greens MP Golriz Ghahraman said.
But NZ First leader Winston Peters have hit back and rubbished the Green MP's comments.
"That's disgraceful actually when you resort to that sort of argument," Peters told reporters this afternoon when asked about the "race-baiting" comments.
"Race-baiting?" he asked, before continuing: "With the greatest respect to the Greens, I've been around a long-time longer than they have".
"Given my background, I think that's just an uncalled for, thoughtless insult – sad to say."
Last week, NZ First linked to a story about Boochani obtaining refugee status and said "This is why New Zealand First must provide the Minister of Immigration".
That was retweeted by Mr Peters, who this afternoon stood by the comments.
"He [Boochani] came here on a one-month visa, did not honour it, was offered refugee status by the United States which begs the question: why did we end up [with him]?"