Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters is taking "a short stint" of medical leave this week after receiving keyhole surgery on Thursday.
In a statement Peters says he visited his doctor earlier this week after experiencing food poisoning symptoms and dehydration. He says he has been advised to undergo a surgical procedure whilst Parliament is in recess.
“This is an unexpected medical event and of course unexpected timing. However the doctor’s advice on having surgery needs to be followed,” said Peters.
In a brief update issued later on Thursday Peters said he "would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes and thoughts at this time" and would also like to extend his thanks to the medical staff involved "following successful keyhole surgery this morning".
The earlier statement indicated that following a brief hospital visit Peters would have a post-operative period of recuperation at home.
“I remain confident of a quick return to work - as well as being fighting fit for the election campaign, which is typically physically gruelling,” said Peters.
NZ First will now combine its campaign launch with its Annual General Meeting on Sunday, July 19.