NZ First

Hooton on the rise of King Peters

Matthew Hooton was one of the first to posit that Winston Peters is aiming for a big swansong to leave politics.

The polls are pointing to that conclusion.

He’s never been Prime Minister, but wants to at least have some time in the job.

Sceptics of the Peters’ plan all miss two important points. The first is that the people of New Zealand simply aren’t stakeholders in post-election negotiations. No one voted for Mr Peters to become Jim Bolger’s treasurer in 1996 or Helen Clark’s foreign minister in 2005. On both occasions, voters would have considered the very idea laughable – and, indeed, I was laughed at on Radio New Zealand’sNine to Noon in 2004 when I first raised the idea of Mr Peters becoming foreign minister.

More recently, it’s doubtful New Zealanders have really wanted United Future’s Peter Dunne to have responsibility for tax collection or drug policy, or Act’s David Seymour to set up charter schools. But, immediately after an election, the next is a political lifetime away and the politicians go for whatever they can get, regardless of what voters think.

The second point is that a Peters-chaired government would not be seeking a second term anyway. If Mr Peters’ aspirations could be negotiated back to a single year, Andrew Little or a new National leader would have to wait just 12 months to become prime minister and would then have two full years to refresh the government and make a pitch for re-election. Sir Winston would be safely packed off to Observatory Circle or New Zealand House.

Ambitious politicians would have little doubt they could get voters to forget about the controversial origins of their government in that timeframe. Do you recall what the political controversy du jour was even six months ago? (Hint: in early November I wrote about the Royal New Zealand Navy’s invitation to the US to send a vessel to its birthday party later this year.)

Read more »

Brand Little too toxic for Peters

Winston Peters speaks at a Maori Affairs select committee

Winston Peters knows how to count, and he’s counted Andrew Little out.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says his party has no plan to campaign alongside Labour at the general election or to issue joint policy.

Labour leader Andrew Little said yesterday that Labour was working closely with New Zealand First and the Green Party and met with their party leaders regularly.

“We’ve got to have a good relationship if we’re going to call the Government to account because that’s what New Zealanders want us to do,” he told TVNZ’s Q+A.   Read more »

Hang on a minute, perhaps there is a method to Little’s madness

Mr Little said large inflows of semi-skilled migrants were putting pressure on jobs, especially in Auckland. If in Government, Labour would immediately place a cap on immigration levels until economic conditions had improved.

The Labour leader said there was a provision in New Zealand’s free trade agreement (FTA) with China that allowed Chinese chefs to work in this country.

“The immigration department no doubt applies that for other ethnic chefs. But the reality is we have big ethnic populations, certainly Indians, certainly Chinese, and I would have thought we could outsource chefs locally rather than have to rely on immigration to get them.”

Asked why he had singled out chefs, Mr Little said this was just one example of semi-skilled migrants filling jobs which could be filled by locals.

He did not know how many chefs were coming into the country through the FTA provision.

If in power, a Labour Government would place a cap on immigration immediately.

So, the years of Helen Clark with unbridled Chinese immigration and a Chinese Free Trade agreement, are coming to an end under Little’s Labour.  This is quite a U-turn.  Read more »

Greens will stop short of selling their soul to get into government – maybe

Richard Harman reports:

…the immediate future there is the prospect of Government with Labour and very probably New Zealand First.

[James Shaw] says the Greens are getting on better with New Zealand First but then things could hardly get any worse on where they were last year.

He won’t be drawn into any critique of New Zealand First beyond saying they are more conservative than the Greens though privately many Greens loathe Winston Peters and much of what his party stands for.

But the big issue will be Labour.

Again, things have improved since the last election when Labour’s then Leader David Cunliffe more or less shut the Greens out.

He says that the two party’s policies on investment for social outcomes overlap.

“And my sense is that they are moving on a lot of the environmental stuff as well.

“And that’s going to make it easier ion the future for us to work together.”

Last election the Greens had a very precise policy platform addressing jobs, cleaner waterways and child poverty.

So when it comes down to the hard negotiations that would be required to form a Government, what would the Greens actually want? Read more »

Nationalise EFTPOS?

Winston Peters sometimes has some really stupid things to say.

This one takes the cake though…he wants to nationalise EFTPOS.

Following the latest EFTPOS outage, New Zealand First is calling on the Reserve Bank to purchase EFTPOS processor, Paymark, which is reportedly on the market.

“Most people don’t realise that the clearing houses behind New Zealand’s electronic banking system are both overseas owned,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“In 2013, ANZ sold EFTPOS New Zealand to American giant Verifone for $70m, while overseas owned ANZ, ASB, BNZ and Westpac want to sell off Paymark.    Read more »

Get on with it then

John Key has said he will work with any party to get RMA reform through, even if that means dealing with Winston Peters.

Prime Minister John Key isn’t ruling out ditching concessions made to the Maori Party over Resource Management Act reform if other parties were prepared to support the National Party’s preferred approach.

His comments follow a speech last night by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters in which he complained his party supported fundamental reforms to the RMA which other parties had rejected but the government had not approached NZ First for support.

In a state of the nation speech in Auckland today, Key said more work needed to be done to lift the supply of new houses in the city to meet its growing population and the government’s priority was reforming the RMA.    Read more »

With attitudes like this I’m not sure Ron Mark should be deputy

Ron Mark staged a coup to oust Tracy Martin from the deputy leader position in NZ First.

But I’m not sure he should be deputy leader, especially when he holds views like the ones he espoused on Facebook recently.

ron-mark Read more »

Is the SAS valour thief mechanic making a run for Winston’s job?

NZ First MP Ron Mark has been accused of delivering “a borderline racial diatribe” in Parliament after suggesting National’s Melissa Lee should go back to Korea.

Ms Lee said during the first reading debate on the Easter trading Bill that when she came to New Zealand 30 years ago she had been surprised to discover shops closed at 5pm.

“That was really, really surprising… in other cities they opened till 10 or midnight, or 24/7,” Mr Lee said last night.

Mr Mark said he had a message for her: “If you don’t like New Zealand, go back to Korea.”

He also drew National’s Kanwil Bakshi into the debate, though Mr Bakshi had not spoken, saying there were numerous religious holidays in India when no one worked. Read more »

Tracey Martin acting like a big girl’s blouse

Tracey Martin got the arse card from the NZ First Deputy Leader role, and now she is having a sook about it all and claiming it is because she is a girl.

Ousted NZ First deputy leader Tracey Martin is pushing back at her party’s disregard for women and accepts that could see her gone at the next election.

In July Martin was rolled from the deputy leadership by “assertive and aggressive” Ron Mark and while she says he has the credentials for the job she also believes her gender played a part in her fall.

“I was asked by a reporter in Warkworth that said, why aren’t you deputy leader anymore, what did you do wrong? I’m not aware I did anything wrong so my flippant answer was, I was probably born the wrong gender. It’s an answer but it’s an unprovable answer,” says Martin.

“I was number two on the list in 2014 because I was deputy leader but I could easily be number 30 in 2017.”    Read more »

Hitler has entered the flag debate

I’ve ignored the social media driven idiocy behind the Red Peak “swastika” as it deserved no attention.   But yesterday NZ First stood up in parliament and seriously put it up as a reason to keep the current flag.

nz-first-mp-draws-nazi-link-to-red-peak-flag.png.hashed.db8043da.desktop.story.inline

I can’t even begin to describe how absurd that is for an argument to retain the current flag.   Given four current flags, we can also make a swastika out of it.   Read more »