Winston Peters

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.    Read more »

No matter how much I don’t want it to, Winston is making more sense

Lately I’ve been paying far more attention to what he and New Zealand First are saying. Sometimes I cringe, just like in the old days. But more often I find myself listening and nodding.

Not because I want to rush out and vote for him. You need to trust me when I say I make a point of not caring too deeply about ‘democracy’ in these dying days of that word.

I listen mainly because he seems to be making more and more sense of the world we are finding ourselves in than, say, the three major parties.

The mere fact that, and on a regular basis, he uses a Voldemort word – neoliberalism – where others never publicly do, tells me he is going to go far in 2017.

There’s a huge part of the electorate that wants that word, and everything it stands for shouted from the rooftops via a megaphone.

There’s also a huge part of the political establishment who simply won’t utter it. You know, not wanting to scare the horses and all that.

Except the establishment doesn’t seem to appreciate that the horses have already bolted, dragging their riders by the stirrups through a rattlesnake-infested landscape of money and cowboys. Read more »

Hide on Winston

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He was in Parliament before three of our Prime Ministers and before Hon Nikki Kaye was born. He has sat through eight Prime Ministers, seven National Party leaders and nine Labour Party leaders.

He has been New Zealand First’s leader for 23 years. Thirty-four New Zealand First MPs rode in on his coat-tails.

He is our longest-serving MP but presents as our angry outsider hell-bent on change. Only Peters could pull that off.

Peters has been front and centre of debate.

He has had more ups and downs than the Cook Strait ferry. He has been tossed out of Cabinet. He has been tossed out of Parliament. He’s had his own Party implode. He has ridden through it all.

Twice, he has been king-maker. He chose Prime Minister Jim Bolger over Helen Clark in 1996 and Prime Minister Helen Clark over Don Brash in 2005.

He just doesn’t know what else to do.  It’s as simple as that.  Read more »

Hide on the new religion of the state

Rodney Hide discusses how the state is the new religion:

The state has become New Zealand’s de facto religion with its magical powers and beneficence accepted without question. The state can feed the poor, care for little children, make us rich, cool the earth and direct the oceans.

The state’s unlimited power is the subtext in all news reports, our state education system and daily discourse. It is implicit and unquestioned in editorials and opinion pieces. It’s the metaphysic of political debate.

The state does nothing well except take taxes. In all other respects they just hinder progress or prevent it all together.

The cleaner at my local mall thinks voting John Minto for mayor will boost his wages and make the rivers swimmable. “It needs a shake up,” he tells me. “The ones there don’t care.”

They clearly don’t. They have the state’s awesome power yet don’t use it to any good purpose. But for self-serving politicians and incompetent bureaucrats we would have heaven on earth.

The disillusionment is understandable. We keep voting but our problems don’t go away. We pray every morning and every night and attend church every Sunday but still poor children suffer terribly and die horrible deaths. It shakes belief.

But instead of becoming atheistic or even agnostic, voters shift their faith to the wild outsiders, the true charlatans.

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Hooton on election dates and campaign mode

Matthew Hooton wasn’t a fan of an early election but he has noticed that some parties are campaigning already.

The argument for a pre-Christmas election is that Mr Key’s government isn’t really doing anything anyway, Labour is in utter disarray and a quick win by National, even with Winston Peters’ NZ First, could make 2017 more a year of substantive governance than endless selfies in shopping malls.

On Monday, though, Mr Key ruled out not just a pre-Christmas election but the March one predicted over the weekend by Mr Peters.  The prime minister argued, probably accurately, that New Zealanders don’t want an early election but also, totally inaccurately, that it is not within his power to call one.  Instead, Mr Key indicated the country would not go to the polls until “the back half of next year”.

With him referencing All Black tests and the need not to get too close to the annual Apec leaders’ meeting in mid-November 2017 in Da Nang, a late September election seems most likely, as in 2014.  That’s a whole year away.

My favourite year in the political cycle.

[T]he whole political class is already in what amounts to election mode.

There has been talk of new but certainly hopeless political vehicles and a mini-scandal over a donation to NZ First.

The opposition has used the time-honoured tactic of a parliamentary filibuster to disrupt urgent housing legislation that a government with its eye on governing would have passed months ago.

A broke Labour Party stands accused of getting up to its old 2005 pledge-card tricks by using taxpayer funds for a campaign office in Auckland.

Mr Key has abandoned major and long-promised local government reforms on the grounds they are too controversial but is warm to Mr Peters’ idea of paying for elderly people to go into secondary schools to teach teenagers to drive.

Most excruciating, the year-long questioning of Mr Peters’ post-election intentions has begun, along with his inevitable refusal to answer.   

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Next election is a “a three-way fight” says Winston

What does he mean by that?

At first sight it seems obvious what he means. Next year’s election will essentially be between National. Labour/Greens and NZ First.

The question it has raised is whether he considers Labour and the Greens to be one party in terms of coalition negotiations.

They’ve signed a memorandum of understanding that means they’ll work together in the lead-up to the election.

It doesn’t commit them to anything after the election, but they’ll almost certainly form the next government together if they have the numbers to oust the government.

Should Peters be the king-maker, and all the polls indicate he will be, which party would he first negotiate with?

His previous post-election position has been to first deal with the party that wins the most votes.

If that’s National, there’s no issue.

But if the combined Labour/Greens vote is more than National’s, would he first go to them?

He will want everyone to think so.  But there are bottom-lines to Winston’s participation, and one is that he will never share a cabinet room with Green MPs.   Read more »

Northland loss to Winston not a lesson for Whangarei’s Shane Reti it seems

Shane Reti isn’t quaking in his boots, or even his jandals over claims that NZ First will seriously contest Whangarei at the next election.

NZ First Leader and Northland MP Winston Peters is targeting Whangarei for his party next election, but incumbent Shane Reti isn’t too worried.

Speaking at the start of the party’s annual conference in Dunedin at the weekend Mr Peters said Whangarei was ripe for the taking because of National MP Dr 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,” Mr Peters said.

Mr Peters, who captured Northland from National in a by-election in 2015 and has since put more campaigning focus on the regions, also named Whanganui as a possible target.   Read more »

Winston’s dance card is filling up – everyone wants to take him home

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 »

Key knives Winston’s early election hopes

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Prime Minister John Key has shot down Winston Peters’ prediction that there will be an early election next year.

The NZ First leader said on Monday the government wouldn’t last a full term and would have to call an early election because it was having a bad run and had made too many mistakes.

Mr Key doesn’t think so.

“I genuinely haven’t made up my mind, I honestly haven’t considered it,” he told reporters.

“There’s nothing I can see that would indicate an early election, and on the basis of that it will be in the back half of next year.” Read more »

The People’s Party deliver a hit on Winston Peters and it bounced right off

via 3 News

via 3 News

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.

Read more »