Tracy Watkins seems to think so in her article in the Dompost.
She is alone in the gallery in thinking Winston’s time is over, a smart observation, but one that will ignored by the lazier members of the gallery who hold onto the hope that there is one last hurrah in the old not so wily dog. I think 4 months will be sufficient time for Tracy Watkins to be proved right.
Anyone who kids themselves that there is life after Winston Peters for NZ First only had to watch the party floundering in the absence of its leader this week.
Frantically trying to head off an attack by their former colleague, expunged NZ Firster Brendan Horan, Peters’ front bench achieved the seemingly impossible feat of making Horan look good by comparison.
They were clueless in the face of Horan’s determination to extract utu from his former party by tabling documents he claimed showed improper use of the taxpayer funded leader’s fund.
Whether the documents do show what Horan claims remains to be seen; the Speaker is investigating although the explanation offered by Peters suggests the spending complies with the rules. But we know from long experience that politicians have a collective interest in not inquiring too deeply into the use of leaders’ funds.
There is certainly no reason to be confident that they have cleaned up their act since an Audit Office inquiry several years ago found most parties treated it as a slush fund for party political activities. (NZ First was one of the parties pinged for unlawful spending to the tune of $158,000).
Regardless of the ins and outs of Horan’s allegations, however, one thing seems clear: Horan is hellbent on using his last remaining months in Parliament to try to take Peters and the rest of NZ First down with him.
Even if he succeeds he will only be hastening by a few years what increasingly seems inevitable.