Whinston says its all go for Whangarei and Whanganui

Winston Peters has indicated for the first time that NZ First is targeting two blue seats in next year’s general election.

NZ First leader Winston Peters says his party is eyeing up Whangarei and Whanganui in next year’s election – and is aiming to have all candidates confirmed by year end.

Speaking at the start of the party’s annual conference in Dunedin, Peters told media Whangarei was ripe for the taking because of National MP Shane Reti’s low profile.

“Shane can walk down the main street of Whangarei and eight out of 10 people don’t recognise him. Now that’s a fact.”   

Peters, who captured Northland from National in a byelection in 2015 and has since put more campaigning focus on the regions, also named Whanganui as a possible target.

He said National MP Chester Borrows, who has held the seat since 2005, was a good MP but had been marginalised by his own party.

“Because common sense people with a bit of experience…are not popular in the new age, neoliberal National Party.”

There has been growing speculation that former Labour MP Shane Jones will leave the diplomatic corps and stand for NZ First in Whangarei.

It is an open secret that Shane Jones is hankering to be back in parliament, and also open that he is entertaining NZ First. That will pose a few problems. The first being  in how to deal with NZ First’s Little Napolean, the former army motor pool supervisor and truck mechanic, Ron Mark. The second being actually beating Shane Reti in Whangarei. By all accounts, the former GP is highly liked and popular amongst locals. His majority is substantial too.

At the present rate in the polls NZ First may follow Winston’s own popularity over Andrew Little’s and supersede that of the Labour party. It is almost certain that they will be on a par with the Green party meaning any potential coalition to beat National would essentially be a true three-way deal with each component party on a par with the other. This, of course, makes any such deal almost impossible, but Labour supporters are used to believing in impossible dreams.


– Herald on SUnday


  • Keeping Stock

    Shane Reti recently managed to convince Air New Zealand not to cut back on the early morning flights from Kerikeri and Whangarei to Auckland. That was a significant local win for him. Although Air New Zealand also gave Whanganui the flick, Chester Borrows and local mayor Annette Main persuaded Air Chathams to pick up the slack, and they are now providing an excellent service between Whanganui and Auckland.

    It’s things like that which count with local voters, not the kind of rhetoric the Peters constantly spouts. And there’s only one Winston Peters (thank God), so he can’t be everywhere at once, being all things to all people.

    NZF has no significant presence or infrastructure in Whanganui. Their perennial candidate here is a bloke who is well into his 70’s, and can’t even get elected to the District Council. Peters can make all the noises he wants, but Whanganui needs him and NZF like a dose of camplyobacter.

  • Second time around

    Andrea Vance on TV1 reported rumours yesterday that the 71 year old Winston Peters would soon be retiring from politics. I think they came from some NZF meeting where there had been talk of the inevitable succession. It is a big deal with NZF- Ron Mark lacks the finesse expected of a leader, while serious politicians do not bill soft porn to the taxpayer no matter how urgent their need to indulge themselves.

    • Cadwallader

      Interesting…is Ron Mark as lacking as to fitness for purpose than Little Angry? When it comes to finesse I think they share an orbit far out from normal society. NZ First has nobody close to parliamentary fitness let alone leadership ability coming through the ranks. (Remember “Arse Nasty Lolly Stealer?”…what happened to her?)

      • Nermal

        While Shane Jones has some popularity, is he a leader, and will he be accepted by the merry band of nut jobs if he is parachuted in to their midst. Surely some of them have secretly harboured delusions of greatness as Winston has aged over the years.

  • XCIA

    For all intents and purposes, 2017 should be Peters swan song, his big hurrah where he gets to play Prime Minister for a rotational point in time. A far more fitting end for the blagger would be if he and his ship of fools went down with all hands.

  • Dog Breath

    National puts up GP’s or some other professional person most probably with a unversity education as an MP candidate NZ First puts up something like a hairdresser whose highest education qualification is maybe a pass in NCEA for the same MP role. This highlights the vast difference between NZ First and other parties in terms of MP candidates. I am sure hairdresser’s are wonderful people but should they be put in charge of NZ Inc cheque book.

  • Ruahine

    Whinston Whistling Whangarei and Whanganui.

    • Aucky

      …….and too much Whisky.

  • kayaker

    Whinston Whistling in the Whind again. I have to laugh at his comment about the Whangarei National MP when a lot of people we know in Northland question exactly what has WP done for the region. He is conspicuous by his absence. To be fair, we heard this when we were up there in June. He may have upped his game since then. The wiser ones see him for what he is though.

  • Santa Fe fan

    So what is Winnie going to offer these 2 provincial towns as a bribe to get their votes? Both these are an interesting choice and no doubt he will be saying they are languishing behind the rest of NZ, and need the assistance only NZF can provide.

  • Catherine Kennedy

    WP didn’t even bother to stand a candidate in Wanganui last election and now he has the arrogance to think we would vote for him. So far up his own behind.

  • Teletubby

    Hmm Whanganui. He hasn’t roped Laws in again has he?

  • Graeme

    Jones isn’t squeaky clean with some of his past record of promoting dodgy immigrants and the taxpayer paying for dirty videos.