Niue's premier Sir Toke Talagi says a New Zealand radio host's description of Pacific islands as leeches is idiotic.
Heather du Plessis-Allan singled out Niue during her national radio show saying pension portability for Niueans amounted to "welfare sponging".
Her comments prompted angry reactions on social media but she defended them saying she was talking about Pacific island countries and their governments not their people.
Sir Toke has dismissed the comments.
"I have no idea what she's on about because she's never been up here. She has absolutely no idea what she's talking about. Do you want me to comment on some idiotic thing like that? The answer is no."