Winston Peters is angry over the ending of the reality TV show Police Ten 7 after it went to air for the final time last week.
The furore over the show started in 2021 after then-Auckland councillor Efeso Collins called on broadcaster TVNZ to scrap the show over what he said were racist stereotypes.
A review of the show was subsequently undertaken, the format was refreshed and it became known as Ten 7 Aotearoa.
In February, however, TVNZ announced the show was to end for good.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB on Friday, former Police Ten 7 host Graham Bell disagreed with the criticism of the show.
He said it was “very sad” to see the show end.
“I just felt that it was killed by the politically correct and wokester brigade,” Bell told Newstalk ZB.
In a Twitter post on Friday, former deputy Prime Minister Peters also spoke out in defence of the show.
“Police Ten 7 is being cancelled… because woke cancel culture has now overtaken any sense of reality,” he said, adding it had become a “social cancer”.
“Most level-headed Kiwis, including frontline police and people like Graham Bell, know that it’s only those sociological loonies who think that way – and would rather believe their feel-good lies than accept the harsher truth like the rest of us do.”
Peters believed the show wasn’t racist.
“If those idiots don’t want to be on camera then they shouldn’t commit crimes in the first place – no matter what colour or race they happen to be,” he said.
It’s not the first time Peters has lashed out over crime this week. On Thursday, the New Zealand First leader labelled the perpetrators of ram raids as “feral dropkick losers”.
Justice Minister Kiri Allan subsequently accused Peters of “dog-whistle politics” and said she believed “name-calling” wasn’t helpful.