NZ First leader Winston Peters is "beating the drum" about Chinese immigrants in an attempt to raise his party's poll rating, Prime Minister John Key says.
Mr Peters on Sunday said a young couple from China could bring four elderly parents into New Zealand and they would receive a full pension even if they didn't work for long before they were 65.
"They will also have access to free healthcare and all other welfare entitlements that New Zealanders work hard for all their lives ... we believe the welfare of New Zealanders comes first," he told his party's annual convention.
Mr Key says an estimated 14,135 immigrants aged 55 or over have come to New Zealand and currently receive the state pension.
Of those, 3444 are Chinese and by far the largest group came from Britain.
There are 592,470 people on state pensions, and the total number of elderly immigrants receiving it is just 2.4 per cent of that, Mr Key says.
"It's just typical Winston, isn't it," he told reporters on Monday.
"Beat the drum about Chinese migrants and you might get poll numbers up a bit."
Mr Peters says he got his information about immigrants from an elderly Chinese businessman, who had paid New Zealand taxes all his life and didn't think the situation was fair.
Mr Key said his own information was a lot more accurate.
"We have an army of officials and he has some guy hanging out in Dominion Road in a Chinese restaurant that he wants to close down ... I'll back my officials from the neutral public service."