For the first time since the election Winston Peters has reemerged, making an appearance at New Zealand First’s annual general meeting where he gave the keynote speech.
He had the opportunity to talk about the country and its problems and could have focussed in pressing issues such as climate change, child poverty and recovering from the global pandemic.
But instead he chose to talk about what clearly seem to him to be the most pressing issues, the “over” use of Te Reo, cycleways and gangs.
Someone should tell Judith Collins that Winston has stolen all of her party’s attack lines used during the past six months.
He made particular mention of the He Puapua report and at the same time managed to attack cancel culture and wokism, which was no easy feat. He said this:
And in 2019 a report called ‘He Puapua’ came to government but was never shown to one NZ First Cabinet Minister.
This report was deliberately suppressed.
In short, this report is a recipe for Maori separatism, they knew it and that’s why they suppressed it till after the election in the full knowledge that NZ First is for one flag, one country, one law.
It was a gesture of ingratitude and bad faith.
Growing in our country is a ‘cancel Culture’ where anyone who asks legitimate questions is belittled as a colonialist, a racist, a bigot, a chauvinist, or worse still, not new’ wokeage’.
He managed to show a complete misunderstanding of Auckland’s light rail that made Paul Goldsmith look like he knew what he was talking about. Winston said this:
You’ve heard of light rail announced to cost $1.7 billion with a tender process, that since the election the Auditor General said was illegal, and where the costs, as we said, have blown out towards $15 billion.
There was never an announcement of cost. There was a figure of $1.8 billion in the Auckland Transport Alignment Project “that will be used to leverage funding and financing and progress the city-airport and northwest corridors over the next decade.” This clearly was not the cost of the project.
Winston also had a chance to rail against the EV subsidy scheme, the scheme which his party managed to frustrate when they were in Government.
In typical Winston style after the meeting he refused to talk to reporters despite having previously indicated he would do so.
This was a typical Winston performance.
The tactic is interesting, Labour supporters would resile from what he was saying but National supporters would wholeheartedly agree. I suspect a few current National supporters will be reviewing their beliefs and see if a Septuagenarian railing against respect for Te Ao Maori, multiculturalism and addressing climate change may be the sort of leader they want ruling the country.