Where’s Winnie?

Where’s Winnie? Credit: Whaleoil

Winnie, you clearly enjoyed the media attention received last year during those tortuous weeks of post-election negotiations.  After prolonging the negotiations, apparently to accommodate the viewpoint of the New Zealand First Board, eventually, you arrived at the best solution for yourself.  I’m not convinced your board was so delighted about taking the fall for this decision but we will never know, will we?  The answer will be in how many of them stay onboard.

Holding the country to ransom may go down in history as the highlight of your chequered political career, but will this term in government also go down in history along with your other squandered political opportunities?

History reveals working with others is not your forte.  In 1991 Jim Bolger sacked you after one year and in 1998 you again parted ways with the National Party after two years.  In 2005 you flip-flopped and worked with the Labour Party which lasted three years.

Perhaps we haven’t heard much from you lately because your leader has asked you to keep your head down and mouth shut?

But don’t you feel a responsibility to the 7% of the public who voted you in, allowing you to seize the roles of Deputy Prime Minister,  Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Minister of Racing?

So far, what have you achieved in these roles?

Anzac leaders mark Armistice Day at Apec | Otago Daily Times …
Preparing to lay poppies, from left, David Parker, Winston Peters, PM Jacinda in Danang, Vietnam

A few photos from the APEC Summit Conference photos in Vietnam in November but nothing to report from your meeting with Vladimir Putin except that you “got along very well”.  Sounds like a wasted opportunity!

A meeting at the East Asia Summit in Manilla with the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, where you smugly reported back to us “I can’t tell you about the details of it. It’s to do with this region and initiatives coming in the future.”  I’m not holding my breath that we will hear anything further on this subject given (a) you don’t like to divulge anything of substance, (b) you will be required to follow through on this to achieve anything, and (c) our relationship with the US has been recently dented.

You did manage to comment on a comprehensive damning report on greyhound racing instigated, not by your office, but by the NZ Racing Board which seems to be managing its industry very well without your assistance.

Talk is cheap, Winnie, and we haven’t even heard much of that lately.  With one notable exception.  The secret coalition document on which our current government was cobbled together, you promised in October would be “released at some point.”

When grilled in November by Paula Bennett (I know, not your favourite person) about accessing the document, you claimed it had shrunk from 38 to 33 pages due to a change in font size.  While this answer may or may not stack up, it did amuse parliament.  But it still begs the question, why are you reneging on disclosing it?

There is so much going on locally and internationally that you could be working on and reporting back to the long-suffering New Zealand public on.

If you really want to be an international statesman please consider emigrating to another country in need of a figurehead rather than a politician proactively working for his country. A small country in Africa could be the land of opportunity for you.


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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

Pablo Picasso
Glass and bottle of Suze (after 18 November 1912)
pasted paper, gouache and charcoal

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