Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is taking a “short stint” of medical leave this week.
In a statement, Peters said he visited his doctor earlier in the week after experiencing food poisoning symptoms and dehydration.
After that visit, Peters said he had been advised to have surgery.
Peters said he’ll take a short stint of medical leave while Parliament is in recess over the next fortnight.
It’s understood Peters had the surgery this morning, and he’s currently in hospital in Auckland.
“This is an unexpected medical event and of course unexpected timing. However the doctor’s advice on having surgery needs to be followed,” Peters said.
Peters will 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.
He did not specify a return date.
Peters had been hoping to attend his party’s campaign launch this weekend. The party will now combine the campaign launch with the party AGM on Sunday, July 19.
Peters is the oldest MP in Parliament. This is the second time this term he has taken leave for surgery.
Last year he took leave for knee surgery for an old rugby injury.
That surgery resulted in a minor political scandal after then-National deputy leader Paula Bennett sent Peters flowers as he recovered. Bennett and Peters were engaged in a legal battle at the time over the leaking of details around Peters superannuation payments at the last election..
Peters responded with a tweet, calling Bennett’s actions “seriously bad taste”.
He was also scathing about the quality of the flowers, which “looked like she just picked them from a local park”.