Would the real Leader of the Opposition please step forward

David Shearer had a shocker in his first outing of the year, his questions were ignored, his front bench were batted away and Winston Peters made a play to take over as the real Leader of the Opposition despite looking decidedly under the weather and his wig just a bit ruffled:

Long schooled in the defter arts of Opposition, the Old Master is finally back in his happiest hunting ground. For now, the would-be Apprentice can only watch and learn.

The first day of the new parliamentary year yesterday had Winston Peters handing out a couple of free lessons on how to be effective on the Opposition benches.

In contrast, the question-time debut by Labour’s new leader found David Shearer largely banging his head against a John Key-erected brick wall.

Rather than going after National – as Shearer was doing – Peters’ target was the Maori Party, whose MPs were strangely absent from the House.

It was classic stuff from the NZ First leader. He used his party’s sole question to probe Key on an alleged misuse of money allocated to the Maori Party’s treasured Whanau Ora scheme.

This promising questioning spluttered out after the Prime Minister replied that he was simply unaware of what Peters was on about.

Say what you will about Winston Peters, but I’ll give him this, though he may wear a wig he sure as hell doesn’t use botox.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.