JESSICA [MUTCH] Even though you call this tinkering, do you feel somewhat vindicated? This has been something that’s been close to your heart for a long time.
WINSTON [PETERS] Well, if they did something sound and substantial, I would agree with them, but take, for example, parental reunion. They’ve said it’s suspended now until 2018. Well, they’ve gotten almost 2500 applications. That’s why it’s suspended, sitting parked up now. When it comes to the issue of the skills category, nearly one in two are coming in without skills. They’re here now. And then when you come to, for example, the changes on the student visas, well, you remember what happened. Students were coming in for export education, then they said, ‘You can work in our economy.’ It’s no longer export education when they say that. And then they said because we weren’t competing with the rest of the world’s best education institutions, ‘Oh, we’ll give you a pathway to residency.’ You see how it’s perverted it? And then a lot of people in the export education business are actually from abroad in this country exploiting their own people, and the fraud is massive. Now, when we produced all that information, this government met us in Parliament and in the media day after day, saying that this wasn’t true.
Winston Peters is the man of the moment, especially since Colin Craig is going down in a blaze of ignominy.
Prime Minister John Key has signalled he’ll announce before next year’s election that he’s prepared to work with NZ First to form a government if he has to.
Mr Key ruled out working with NZ First leader Winston Peters before the 2008 and 2011 elections, but changed his attitude before the 2014 election.
He didn’t need to work with Mr Peters post-election in 2014 because he had enough support elsewhere to form a government. Read more »
Winston Peters is caught up in a donations controversy after his New Zealand First party took $3000 from the founder of the new immigrant-focused People’s Party.
Newshub can reveal the money was taken after Peters met with Indian businessman Rohan Nauhria over dinner at Auckland’s India Gate restaurant in the days before the 2014 election.
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.” Read more »
…even though more than half of the votes are in Auckland.
New Zealand First will ramp up its focus on the regions ahead of the election and has interest from candidates who could wrest seats from National, leader Winston Peters says.
As recent polls indicate Peters could be king-maker next year the party holds its annual conference in Dunedin this weekend with the theme “it’s time”.
In an interview with the Herald before the conference, Peters said the party would redouble its focus on regional New Zealand to grow its vote.
The 71-year-old has spent less time in Parliament lately in favour of his Northland electorate and the regions, with recent trips to Dunedin, Dannevirke and Kaikohe.
“We are seriously getting around the provinces,” he said. “The Greens can cough and get in the media. We pack halls and don’t. We pack halls in this country like no other political party.”
There has been growing speculation that former Labour MP Shane Jones will leave the diplomatic corps and stand for NZ First in Whangarei against National MP Shane Reti.
Well, at least that is half right. Shane Jones is expected back, but going up against Shane Reti would be silly. Read more »
There was a rather large elephant in the room through the weekend at the National Party conference.
Though the party had, in the words of one senior Beehive adviser “stage managed the shit out of the conference” talking to MPs and delegates revealed a party that has one major issue on its mind.
And the issue is the Rt Hon Winston Peters.
National strategists have believed for a while that NZ First was making up ground but that it was winning that ground off Labour.
However, the election results in Australia, Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump all point to this being a time when established parties need to take populist insurgents seriously.
It’s not just a question of whether National will need New Zealand First and Peters to form a Government, but would he even consider it as long as John Key leads them, and if he did, would their agreement to have him join to end the same way his previous engagement with National did under Jenny Shipley in 1998.
Their preference is to have the current Government and its support parties be re-elected with much the same numbers it has now.
And that’s the official line; that’s what the goal is.
The elephant in the room is that National are slowly drifting ever more to the left, allowing Winston more play in the middle. Readers have noted that Winston is ‘starting to make sense’ to them. Read more »
It is the time of the electoral cycle when the smallest of Parliament’s parties start to have existential crises. These are real crises for Act and United Future, given they look into the abyss of extinction every three years.
There is precious little oxygen in the rarefied atmosphere inhabited by Government support parties. If evidence was needed it came this week when Dunne tried to remind people of his existence by issuing a press statement setting out the three policy themes he would be focusing on in the lead-up to the 2017 election. The themes were: an economy that provides fairness, choice and opportunity; establishing core environmental bottom lines; and embracing and celebrating a modern, multi-cultural New ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.
It was effectively a campaign launch. It fell with the impact of a feather.
It is a tricky time for the leaders of the two parties. Act and United Future are dependent on either wooing 5 per cent of voters to get into Parliament or on keeping a grip on an electorate seat.
Neither has come close to the 5 per cent mark for some time and nor are they likely to. In both cases, the electorate seat deal is the only option.
Both Dunne and Seymour are all but guaranteed to be back in the next parliament, and their existential crisis is but a media mirage. It is clear that neither is likely to get 5% for United Future or ACT. So, the only risky thing is that their sugar daddy, National, is going to drop support. Read more »
…Peters will only retire after he has fulfilled his ambition of one day being prime minister. It’s even said to have been put on the able in NZ First’s protracted negotiations to form a government in 1996.
Election night 2017 might be now or never for Peters, given he will be 72 by the time the next election rolls around.
Which is why the Labour-Greens cooperation agreement announced this week might be the game changer everyone is talking about, but not in the way they think.
Because it may bring Peters’ dream within his grasp.
It’s been 20 years since the first MMP election and while we think we’ve seen every permutation and political curveball it can throw at us, there’s still one scenario that has never been tested with the public.
That scenario is one in which the party with the biggest share of the popular vote is ousted by a coalition of smaller parties.
In the initial wash-up after the Labour-Greens announcement, everyone seemed in agreement on one thing – that it would push some soft Labour votes into NZ First’s arms.
National would be the ultimate beneficiary, the thinking goes, since Peters is actually utterly predictable when it comes to coalition negotiations, despite appearances to the contrary.
He has always gone with the party that wins the most votes on election night, and that includes the 1996 election, even if National was only ahead of Labour by a whisker and it took him six weeks to get there.
And the Greens and Labour combined will still not have more votes than National. Read more »
“There’s no doubt we’re gonna corrode the National party base because people have got a guts-full,” Peters said.
“We’ve spoken about things for a long time that have proven to be true, more and more New Zealanders are remembering who said that first.”
New Zealand’s levels of immigration were “disastrous economically and socially” – an issue NZ First had predicted years ago based on international research, he claims.
Rob Hosking at NBR discusses the rise of Winston Peters and how he is setting the agenda.
[T]he NZ First leader is also stumping the country, appearing in towns and getting crowds well in advance of expectations.
In places the Labour Party has given up on or has been given up on, or where people want an alternative to the current government but can’t quite bring themselves to vote for a red or – even worse – a Green – there is Winston, with a welcoming smile.
A few weeks ago, organisers in solidly National Pukekohe put out chairs for an audience of 150 – and more than 300 turned up.
Now, it is an old political trick, when wanting to make a crowd look impressive, to put out too few seats so you can boast of ‘standing room only” – and we know Mr Peters is not fastidious at all about pulling off old political tricks.
But this is in one of the safest National seats in the country – and it was on Mother’s Day, a time when a lot of Mr Peters’ core constituency tend to be keener on spending time with their families.
What does Winston want?