Cunning, cunning Winston

Winston Peters knows that people dislike MMP. He also knows that they generally dislike MPs….except him of course.

That makes his latest suggestion to cut costs of parliament a very cunning move.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has come up with a cost-saving solution to Parliament’s looming space problem: cut the number of MPs to 100 instead of spending millions on a new office block.

Parliament’s Speaker David Carter has proposed building a new office block on Parliament’s grounds to house MPs and staff after the lease on Bowen House ends at the end of 2018.   

Carter told Fairfax Media he believed Parliament should own its buildings rather than continue to lease Bowen House at a cost of about $6 million a year.

The Government has been consulting opposition parties on the proposal and Peters said it did not have his backing.

“At a time when there are well over 40,000 Kiwis homeless and young Kiwis struggling to buy a home, it ill behoves parliamentarians to consider their own comforts.

“The fact is we don’t need Parliamentarians, 100 would be sufficient, at which time we would have plenty of room.”

Peters said the public of New Zealand had voted to reduce the number of MPs to 99 in a referendum in 1999 but it was never acted on.

After New Zealand adopted MMP it went from 99 electorate MPs in 1993 to 120 electorate and list MPs.

NZ First believed numbers should be cut, given 81.5 per cent had supported the reduction in the referendum.

A plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel.


– NZ Herald

  • curry4me

    Works for me! I wonder if he can be relied upon to push it through after the election though.

    • john Doe

      Anything Winston has to say is simply burble for baubles.

      • curry4me

        I know. But it might gain momentum sufficient for National to be scared into taking it up. It might also be something a Post Winston NZF could take up. Assuming they have a credible leader that is. Ideally, there would be nine ACT MPs to do this. However, the numbers are eight short.

    • Seriously?

      The only place he’d push it through is his bowels. Turkeys don’t vote for an early Christmas.

  • Eiselmann

    Works for me Winston, can I suggest we start by getting rid of Tracey and Ron

  • Seriously?

    Yes, let’s get rid of some of these pointless list MP. Start with NZFirst first.

    • Boondecker

      Riders on Winston’s coat tails. It’s a nice paying jig with perks if you get it.

    • Jayar

      People who can’t believe their luck! A reliable salary which they’d never get anywhere else and other perks. Of course they don’t actually have to achieve anything, or even say anything of note.

    • Blueburd

      I’d put money on the fact that they would be lucky to place in the top 3 of their electorate as well. Same with most of the greens

      • Seriously?

        To be fair, the Green MPs are: Metiria Turei, James Shaw, Kevin Hague, Eugenie Sage, Gareth Hughes, Catherine Delahunty, Kennedy Graham, Julie Anne Genter, Mojo Mathers, Jan Logie, David Clendon, Denise Roche, Steffan Browning, Barry Coates, and Marama Davidson.

        They may be a waste of space but the only ones I had no idea about were David Clendon and Barry Coates (the only reason I remember Browning is because of his stupid belief in homeopathy). Compared to the NZ First lot they seem high positively profile!

  • STAG

    I still won’t vote for him, but I admire the heck out of him.

    • Boondecker

      I’m not ashamed to admit I was one of his supporters when he was a National MP. He was considered Rob Muldoon’s protege at the time (and that was a compliment back then). Once he went all narcissistic n’stuff with Winston First, my support waned. He’s never done enough to attract my vote back since, but likewise, I like the cut of his jib when he stirs in the right quarters.

  • Sally

    Works for me. That is approx 1/3 of the list MPs. So if each party lost 1/3 of their list MPs that would mean Andy could be in damage of going home. Five less Greens and 4 less NZ First, joy.
    Go on Winston create a bill and put it forward.

  • Curly1952

    Winston only likes MMP because he knows without it he would be in Parliament on his own so he should volunteer to relinquish NZ First seats as a mark of “putting your money where your mouth is ” – start reductions with Ron Marks and few of your cronies

  • kayaker

    Has anyone ever validated the ‘40,000 homeless’ as true and correct?

  • Pete

    I agree with the notion to reduce the size and cost of patliament. I see the empty desks complete with telephones and serviced with glasses of water and wonder at the comparison with the British Parliament where rows of benches are deemed satisfactory. Every time I see the British parliament the benches seem full. Our example is frequently very sparse suggesting a trim down is not a problem.

    MMP has not done it for me. Costs have gone up and quality, well it is hard to find other than rare glimpses.

    Biggest rip off is the leaders allowances. Chop them. This taxpayer does not wish to fund any party other than by personal donation.

  • Geordie

    There are 64 general seats, 7 Maori seats and 49 list seats. So where do you take the 20 away from? Some of those rural electorate seats are already huge, plus there is a proportion which has to go to the South Is. As the population grows more electorate seats are created (originally there was 51 list MPs) and after the next census there will be another one.

    So take 20 away from the list and next year there will be 28 list seats, at the moment the Greens and NZF have 25 between them!.

  • Rick H

    Get rid of any MP who is merely a “list trougher”
    Constituent MP’s are the only democratic MP’s, and they must stay, the rest are dross.

  • woollyone

    Am I right in thinking that if the threshold was raised that would reduce the number of list MPS?

  • Paul Marsden

    Only one problem…Turkeys don’t vote for an early Christmas.

  • David L

    Did you realise that MP’s can give a proxy vote to the whip and not even be there? Why not extend that principle and just give the ‘list MP’ proxy votes to the party. Most of them are only lobby fodder anyway.