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NZF poll is wrong

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, December 6th, 2010 - 76 comments
Categories: election 2011, nz first, polls - Tags: ,

Great excitement in the Sunday papers over Winston Peters / NZF. Exhibit A:

Poll puts NZ First back in contention

A new poll has New Zealand First at 6 per cent of the vote – enough to see its leader, Winston Peters, return to Parliament and play a key role in deciding which party governs the country after the next general election.

Exhibit B:

Peters the kingmaker again

The country’s next prime minister could be decided by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

A new poll has cast Peters as kingmaker. The 65-year-old left parliament after 30 years as an MP when he lost in Tauranga to Simon Bridges and New Zealand First failed to pass the 5% party list MP threshold in the last election.

The Horizon poll of almost 2000 intending voters shows the often-controversial MP could have the power to decide whether National’s John Key or Labour’s Phil Goff leads the country after the 2011 elections.

In 2008 New Zealand First captured just over 4% of the vote, but the Horizon poll, conducted from November 16-22, shows the party is back in the game with 6% support.

Don’t believe it? Me neither. Exhibit B continues:

In the same poll National recorded 34.7% support, Labour 28.3%, the Greens 7.9%, Act 2.6%, the Maori Party 1.2%, Jim Anderton’s Progressives 1.2%, United Future 0.2% and other parties 1.6%.

That is so far out of line with other poling it’s simply daft. So what’s going on? It’s the methodology. Horizon polls are not, despite the name, polls in the usual sense. They are an online survey of volunteer “panellists”. As I have written before, I don’t believe in the methodology or the figures that it produces.

Neither of the excitable pieces on this poll quoted above mention the unusual methodology or its highly variable validity, which I regard as pretty much a dereliction of journalistic duty. Horizon do attempt to provide an explanation for the variation between their results and other polls. Again from Exhibit B:

Most polls only measure decided votes but the Horizon poll also includes the all-important swing voters by asking undecided voters who they lean towards. The polling company says that makes its results more accurate and explains why the gap between National and Labour is so narrow.

Nice try, but no, sorry. After they got the predicted percentages on the Auckland mayoralty so wrong I have no hesitation at all in writing off these Horizon figures too. The gap between National and Labour is still large (depressingly). And we don’t need to worry about the nightmare of NZF back in parliament just yet.

76 comments on “NZF poll is wrong”

  1. Agreed but …

    Winnie is at 3% in the latest Roy Morgan poll and has been there or thereabouts for a while.

    The foreshore and sebed stuff is going to hurt the Government and justifiably so. Their hypocracy is becoming very transparent.

    Their support is soft and voters will have a look around. Those upset by the supposed threat to their rights to use the beach can look either to Act or Winnie. Act are in poor shape and unlikely to survive the hypocrisy of their perk busting leader. So I would not be surprised if Winnie returned from the political dead.

    Having said this the last group I would like to see back in Parliament is Winston and his mob. Xenophobic climate change deniers do nothing for me.

    • lprent 1.1

      Perk busting? I think that you meant perk lusting?

      Yeah, r0b is right though. This poll is pretty far off base especially agains tthe Morgan poll which does seem to be reasonably robust for trends.

      But what can you say about journos. You get the impression that many never did any training on basic stats ever and have been too arrogant to learn any thoughout their career. Either that or they will write anything for a headline

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Every chance that Horizon wrote the piece as a press release and the journalists just swapped words around to make it ‘original’ – or am I being too cynical.

        • gobsmacked

          The poll is very dodgy, in the same way that Dunne’s worm was in 2002. But it worked, because the media decided it was news.

          1% of voters will care about the details. The rest just see “Winston’s back”.

          • Shazzadude

            You’re right, this poll could end up being one of those self-fulfilling prophesies. This poll is important for Winston, because it could help sway voters who like Winston but fear wasting their vote. Reports that rule him in him in help alleviate that fear.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Every chance that Horizon wrote the piece as a press release and the journalists just swapped words around to make it ‘original

          You be the judge, as they say.

          While publishing some barely substantiated drivel and providing “balance” by waiting for someone to come along and rebut it with more barely substantiated drivel might just pass muster as political reporting on most stories, unfortunately statistics are one area in which rebuttal is unlikely and thus analysis is needed.

          There doesn’t seem to be much evidence of that in the coverage of this poll, however.

      • jcuknz 1.1.2

        lprent 8.27 — That is why ACT got a raw deal from the media when it started aided by the rubbish talk from the Alliance and fellow thinkers.

    • Bunji 1.2

      I too fully expect Winnie to be back in, even if I doubt he’s at 6% now… There are a lot of people who don’t want to vote for the main 2 parties, with many wanting something “centrist”. Peter Dunne is done, so where do they turn? For that section that are anti-foreshore & seabed / into “scandal-busting”, ACT is toast too – where do they turn? There’s only 1 alternative putting his hand up currently. The removal of the populist xenophobes was the silver lining to a very cloudy election last time, but I fully expect we won’t have seen the last of them.

      That said, I expect most of the additional support to come from National’s numbers – like Labour in 2002 when people decided that they didn’t want them to govern alone, I suspect we’ll have a similar carving off from their support.

  2. That was my first reaction too – but if you accept the premise that undecided voters are probably less likely to go out and vote then their results become plausible as a measure of public opinion – but useless as a predictor of election outcomes.

    • lprent 2.1

      If you have a look at the undecided in the Morgan compared to the undecided here, the numbers don’t add up. Their sample must have had a hell of a high proportion of undecided.

      The people who don’t vote are overwhelmingly in the under 30 age group. where there is virtually no support for NZF

      There is something wrong in their methodology. Sure NZF has a strong following amongst the elderly but not this high. And they virtually always know at any point in time how they will vote. You can see it when you’re canvassing.

      • swordfish 2.1.1

        Too often journalists infer that “most” older people vote NZ First.

        They (the journalists) seem to get confused between the words “disproportionate” and “majority”. The over 60s may disproportionately vote Peters but we’re still talking about a relatively small minority. Even when NZ First were at their absolute electoral apex in 1996, less than 25% of older New Zealanders were supporting them. Much more than the rest of the population, of course, but still, quite obviously, a minority.

        And in fact traditionally even among NZ First supporters, the elderly are a minority. It’s usually, I think, something like 65% of NZF voters under 60 years of age / 35% over.

        • lprent

          Most elderly don’t vote NZF. As you say within that age group they vote dis-proportionally to the rest of the population for them. This shows in canvassing and for that matter in any screen shot of NZF party functions.

          In much the same way that people under about 40 dis-proportionally don’t mention NZF at all when canvassing.

          Not sure where you’re getting your percentages from, but overall I’d agree. However the number of people in the 40-60 age group is quite a lot higher than that of over 60 at present. So the percentage canvassed for NZF in the 40-60 is not too similar to the overall vote. But it tends to be more of the hard-core NZF vote.

          However I’d say that the discretionary vote that NZF lost last time came largely from over 60’s (anecdotally), they’re the ones that dropped the party down below 5%. They’re the ones that NZF is probably picking up again. Quite simply (as I said at the time and after), they were caught in the media lynch mob, and post election have not seen the various claimed infractions sustained by anything apart from the kangaroo court of the privileges committee.

          I’m still pissed off with the short-term idiots in Act, National, and the media going for an unsustainable lynching. They’ve probably ensured that NZF do come back in 2011 and subsequent elections. Quite simply they’ve given Winston a hell of a story to tell that he should be able to play on for quite a few years. If they hadn’t gone for the short-term fix of a lynching, then I’d have expected that NZF would have faded off the political landscape by becoming as politically irrelevant as the remnants of Alliance, United Future, Act, Social Credit, various Christian parties, etc etc

          • gingercrush

            Oh yes because if things carried on and just ignored Peter’s gross hypocrisy the guy would still be in parliament. So doing nothing would have ensured Peters stayed in parliament. And could have quite possibly prevented National from forming the government. Which of course the likes of you would have relished.

            As it is Peters isn’t coming back. It wasn’t short-term thinking. Only people like you so pathetic as to still defend the guy are the real idiots. And any political commentator that seriously thinks Peters will ever reach parliament again really are completely stupid and shouldn’t be called a political commentator period.

            The poll as it stands is well pathetic. Does anyone really believe Anderton is carrying 1.2% of the vote? Does anyone really believe Act is right now at 3%? And New Zealand First is at 6%? And does anyone really believe Labour is at 28% and National has somehow lost 6% of the vote to NZ First and Act? Yeah right.

            • lprent

              I don’t think so. There was a significant but lowish probability that NZF wouldn’t have hit 5% in 2008. But more importantly NZF would have been struggling in 2011. If you look over the long term trends since NZF formed in the early 90’s, it has been steadily losing support. Part of that is likely to be as their main support base got older and dropped off the rolls (yet another euphemism). Part was as their policies got subverted into other parties policies. But mostly I suspect was because their underlying policies are as rigid as their supporters.

              Over the same period the visible support for the greens has been steadily growing as their main support base got older and they adapted their policies to changing circumstance.

              The problem for me is that the way that the lynching took place was blatantly unfair in that it wound up as being a pile of unsubstantiated (by conviction or even charges) accusations and taking place immediately in front of an election. That gives Winston a whole new policy plank to argue from – that of the monied powers in the land trying to silence the voice of common-sense (and note that I don’t believe a word of it – but the political meme is historically well-established to work). It is perfect for attracting a protest vote.

              That is why I think that NZF is likely to get back into parliament in 2011, and why I think that the actions taken were short-sighted.

          • burt

            Perhaps the real problem lprent is that there are still major parties that publicly declare their willingness to work with him. If he had no significant allies then he would be irrelevant.

            Having him loose in opposition is quiet entertaining, you get to tick off what dishonest deeds he’s been up to by listening to what he accuses others of.

            If the power at any price mentality of Labour or National sees them prepared to go into coalition with a man found to be dishonest by the privileges committee then they provide fertile ground for the cynical opportunism rOb rightly refers to.

            The two major parties should make it clear to voters that of they want to vote a court jester into the house for the entertainment of all then that is their right, but they need to be clear that he’s only there for entertainment – before the vote.

            • KJT

              Why should being dis-honest and troughing discourage politicians from working with Peters. It is not as though they haven’t done it themselves.

            • lprent

              Yeah that would do it. But you’d have ask if a democracy is working if there is an permanent active policy of ensuring that 5% or more of the populations votes are effectively discarded from being ever represented in a government.

              National doesn’t appear to be precluding him this time (and it looked quite opportunistic last time) and neither does Labour. Quite simply they are unwilling to get into a position where a government cannot be formed without a ‘grand coalition’ that I cannot see ever being formed outside of wartime and new elections are required.

              You know my opinion on the validity of that privileges committee finding. It was an example of how to bring an institution into disrepute.

            • burt


              With all due respect to your opinion, the privileges committee ruling needs to be accepted. That’s why it’s there – to provide a ruling. And as for your opinion of the ruling, are you forgetting that Peters was also required to re-file a few years of party returns which included the items which were the substance of the privileges committee hearing?

              But lets get your opinion lprent – was the “NO” sign honest?

          • smhead

            The only people who turned the privileges committee into a kangaroo court were the shameless labour MPs (Cullen especially) who went into the committee denying that winston had never done anything wrong and that his party funding was completely legitimate, while demonising labour’s biggest fundraiser in the process, and that charlatan formerly from tauranga.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Heh. I still love how all the righties are outraged that the LP would criticise a donor.

              That sort of thing would never happen in the National Party! Which is true of course, but funny that they think it’s a virtue.

              • smhead

                no, what is outrageous is that for years labour were taking big money from him and parading him as their big business link to give them credibility, happy for him to pump up winston but then when it got a little bit dicey for them with their coalition partner they shat on him from a great height because he was the only man telling the truth in the whole committee.

            • mickysavage

              Smeg you are such a crack up.

              Cullen made it into a kangaroo court because he was not shouting to the top of his lungs “Winston is guilty” before the hearing even started???

              The definition of a kangaroo court is one where the decision makes go into it with their mind already made up that the poor sap in front of them is guilty.

              • smhead

                no he turned it into a kangaroo court because he said winston is not guilty before the hearing started and ignored all the evidence, instead belittling the credible witnesses during the process. Name one nat on the privileges committee who did that. Go on just one.

                • he said winston is not guilty before the hearing started and ignored all the evidence

                  When and where? What did he say?

                  In any event evidence is presented DURING the case not BEFORE. If a Judge looks at the evidence BEFORE he is prejudging the case and is guilty of running a KANGAROO COURT.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    This poll is for entertainment value only. But like so many things today that means = news.

  4. Olwyn 4

    I am not and never have been an NZF voter, being a left winger, but am always taken aback by the pejorative characterisation of Peters and his party from both left and right. As I understand him, he is a small “c” conservative, not so much xenophobic as he is opposed to using migration to keep prices up and wages down, and a champion of small and local businesses over transnational corporations. Certainly he has his supporters among the elderly, but also among small business owners, British immigrants of a certain stripe, (those who favour what they see as a fair and responsible conservatism over socialism), and very likely members of the racing industry, for whom he has worked quite hard. I read of someone last election who voted for Peters when she had been going to change her vote, because she was sick of his supporters being characterised as old geezers and conspiracy theorists by the media.

    • r0b 4.1

      I don’t like Peters. I think you’re letting him off too easily for his racism (my main grudge against him) and his cynical opportunism.

      Yes, if he gets elected, he has a mandate, and the same right to wheel and deal for government as any other party. After all, we have to put up with ACT, and they’re much worse than Peters (for different reasons). But I for one think that the country will be better off if he doesn’t get elected.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    Winston Peters’ greatest little helpers are, ironically, the voices on the Right who play into his hands.

    Every time a Nat-hack farts out “Labour can’t win!”, they damage their own prospects of getting the government they want.

    A “foregone conclusion” frees up votes. Why bother voting to keep the left out, if they’ve already lost? There’s no pressing need to vote for Key, because he’s already won … so they keep telling us.

    Result: soft National support goes to Winston, and combined with a lower turnout, leaves National well short of the 50%, and short of allies. Say hello to John Key’s new Treasurer, the Rt Hon Winston Peters.

    • gingercrush 5.1

      A lower turnout would hurt the left and not the right. Even in 2002 when National was completely out of it. The strongest electorate turnout tended to be from either the Urban rich seats in Auckland and Wellington or provincial New Zealand.

      And why you expect that soft support to go to New Zealand First is beyond me.

      • gobsmacked 5.1.1

        Lower turnout means the less committed don’t vote.

        That’s the very definition of John Key’s soft support. Why bother walking to the polling booth for a non-political celebrity, when you’ve already “voted” from your couch, by texting Dancing with MasterChef Idol?

        Emptiness gets an empty response.

        • gingercrush

          2008 was a lower turnout than 2005 and National increased its vote and Labour’s support was down. Therefore, your answer actually can’t be true.

          And I know it plays into yours and nearly all of the left supports at this blog for National and in particular John Key to have this so-called soft support and “smile and wave” persona. That allows you to believe John Key is somehow not popular and that the support National currently has will disappear when New Zealanders wake up. Its the same shit many on the right said about Helen Clark. And she got three terms.

          I would have expected the left to do better but no you use the same posturing bullshit as the right. And as I recall you predicted National’s support to completely disappear last year. Hasn’t happened. Nor is it disappearing this year either.

  6. Bored 6

    The only benefit of having Winston hold the balance of power is that he might demand a re opening of the Winebox and a few of the other corporate frauds he rumbled….it would be truly fabulous to see some of the big movers go down. Betcha thy are trembling at the prospect.

    • felix 6.1

      I always suspected that was a major part of ACT’s obsession with destroying Winston (and Nat’s obsession, by proxy).

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Anyone remember John Key’s famous principles? Proclaimed in 2008, but now gone missing.

    This morning, Newstalk ZB interview, Key comments on doing a deal with Peters:

    “I will worry about it if he decides to throw his hat in the ring, I will make the call then.”

  8. Jenny 8

    As I said here, in an earlier comment on the same topic, this poll parallels the wishful thinking of some individuals from the conservative wing of the Labour Party who would be more comfortable forming a coalition with NZ First than with the Maori Party.

    These individuals have made it crystal clear that they think that Labour should throw the country over to the Nats for another term rather than talk with the Maori Party.

    No matter to them; this electoral tactic will harm the flax roots working class constituencies of both parties. Sectarian purity is all that counts.

    I have even heard some in Labour cynically say “This will teach workers right for voting for National”.

    • Jenny

      I am not sure if there is such a thing as the conservative wing of the Labour party. If there is then it is a very small one. I can think of only one member out of many that I know who is supportive of a coalition with NZF.

      The relationship with the Maori Party is problematic but improving. There has never been a desire to “throw the country over to the nats” however.

      I would love to know who made the quote in your last sentence. I suspect that the actual words used would give an entirely different flavour.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        I certainly know a few people who voted NAT last time around who are suffering a major case of buyers’ remorse right now.

        But LAB can’t take any solace from this, we cannot say that the electorate was wrong. We lost their votes last time around, and we have to win them back this time around.

        There are real alternatives and LAB have an economic plan which makes it clear that Bill and John are simply fiddling the economy into a recessionary holding pattern. The only winners are the ones who were already wealthy to start with.

        • KJT

          I am very sure that many people voted NACT because they were disappointed that Labour did not reverse our Neo-Liberal direction. In other words they would have voted for anything which wasn’t Labour.
          Many others abstained for the same reason.

          I for one am not convinced Labour has had a genuine change of heart.

          • Lanthanide

            I’m upset that Labour didn’t get rid of the neo-liberal bent, so now lets vote in the neo-liberals? Seems a bit counter-productive.

            • KJT

              That is the problem with our system of 3 yearly changeable dictatorship where if you don’t like this lot the only option is to vote in the lot you did not like last time.

              • Lanthanide

                Or, you could vote on the same side of the political spectrum, but more extreme. Like vote Greens instead of Labour.

                • KJT

                  Yes. Some did. I would hardly call the Greens extreme though.

                  If they seem that way, it just shows how far to the right wing NACT and Labour have stumbled.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Want to see NZ embracing the principles of a true social democracy? With a few nice socialist reforms which make it clear that the aim of our economy is to work for the people, not the other way around?

                  Only problem is, too many NZ’ers have no idea what social democracy is all about. Instead they’ve been told to believe that if they kowtow in front of the free market for long enough they will somehow get trickled on.

                  IMO what we need is a new mass movement on the Left – political but not a political party – which will give left leaning pollies the, ahem, confidence, to take big steps and to do the correct thing.

      • gingercrush 8.1.2

        Of course there is a conservative wing of the Labour Party. They’re the people in Goff and King’s case who supported the neo-liberal reforms of the 1980. Cosgrove comes right out of the Mike Moore fan club looks and all. Shane Jones appears to be pretty conservative and is completely suitable for race-baiting exercises. Even Kelvin Davis the so-called new blood of Maori in the Labour Party displays some of that same race-baiting. Carmel Sepuloni has shown she isn’t very liberal. And its not like Cunliffe and Parker are the ultra liberals taking Labour back to its socialists roots. And then there’s Barker, Dalziel, Robertson, Hawkins, O’Connor, Choudhary and Nash.

        And of course many in Labour work with New Zealand because half of the people I’ve mentioned and many others inside Labour were supporting New Zealand First despite his hypocrisy and scandals from 2005-2008.

        And its not like you can’t keep things basically the same with Peters on your side. After all despite his rantings on economics and immigration Labour barely changed either.

        • Olwyn

          Even if what you are saying were right, there is no real common ground with Peters on the neo-liberal front, which you call conservatism. Like his mentor, Muldoon, he rejects neo-liberalism, but retains a localised, soft-nationalist conservatism. If you were a supporter of neo-liberal economics plus socially liberal values, you might find agreement with him on certain single issues, but the two broad bases for possible allegiance would be cancelled out.

    • The Voice of Reason 8.2

      Well, as I’m thought by some to be the leading sectarian around these parts and, I suspect, the one and only member of the LP’s conservative wing, I will happily confirm that I have no problems with a Lab/Green/NZF Government.

      If Labour and the Greens need a third leg to take power, it will have to be one of the right wing parties. National and ACT are out, so that leaves Winnie or the MP. Of the two, Winston is the most stable, as he doesn’t have to worry about trifles such as internal party democracy. What you see is what you get. A nice title, a few trips and a regular ego massage and Winston’s yer man.

      The MP are hopelessly divided between the populist ideals of their membership and the awful reality of their MPs’ craven role in this Government. They will not be a stable partner, even if they did go with Labour. And going with Labour is most unlikely, given that the current crop of MP’s are still more comfortable with scraps from the master’s table than kicking down the door to the kitchen.

      It would be utterly foolish for Labour and the Greens to reject Winston at this point. He is likely to be voted back in as he will pick up disenchanted Nat and Labour voters, so the left has to find a way to accomodate that fact. Goff seems to get it, as he has been pitching to the grumpy vote ever since the speech in Palmy a year ago. Nah, far better to deal with the devil you know than a bunch of politically incoherent chancers with a self destructive streak longer than Ninety Mile beach.

      • Lanthanide 8.2.1

        Or, take a leaf out of National’s book and make a formal deal with the MP anyway.

      • smhead 8.2.2

        you make me laugh reason. The maori party have got more for maori out of this government in the last two years than all of labour’s maori mps out of all of labour’s government combined. remember closing the gaps? ditched when it was uncomfortable for labour. Foreshore and seabed? Banged in before orewa. treaty settlements? started and run down a long road by national. maori voters know that labour deliver nothing but blankets and beads. the maori party got them whanau ora. big difference.

        name one current labour maori MP with any mana? That’s right, you can’t. Their all lazy troughers who take their big parliamentary salaries for their silence.

        • The Voice of Reason

          Ok, I’ll bite. What’s ‘whanau ora’? Anybody know? Is it as good as having a job? Because the only thing the Maori Party has bought to most maori is waffle, flags and unemployment. Hell, they’ve even embraced the Foreshore and Seabed Act, so what is the point of them, smeggy?

          And as for maori Labour MP’s with mana, can I just point out that 3 of them won their electorate seats, which strongly suggests they have indeed got mana.

  9. burt 9

    It’s shock tactics journalism. The MSM are reminding us how foolish it is to even contemplate giving the secret trust using Winston any chance of rorting us again.

  10. Shazzadude 10

    Although I’m not convinced by this poll, the poll is actually pretty close to my projections for the next election, albeit no Progressives and <2% for ACT. I think there's plenty of ground to occupy for New Zealand First, with United Future stagnant and ACT in trouble.

  11. randal 11

    the real story is john key hates hootons guts so hooton is trying to snipe at him from the sidelines and appear objective about it.
    lets see how it all pans out eh?

    • ianmac 11.1

      “John Key hates Hooten?” Are you sure randal? I have never seen Key passionate about anything. Sure much ado about smile and wave but evidence of empathy? Sympathy? Love? Hate? Passion? Must have blinked.
      On radio, Hooten is cunning. Sounds reasonable but somewhere during the discussion, he slips the knife in with a smile and manages to repeat the same knifing. Remember his great passionate feeling for Winston?

  12. ak 12

    Methinks some commenters here seriously miunderestimate the oh-so-very-timely-considering-current-circs power of charismatic familiarity, a good record since 75 for Maori, anti-fatcat Winebox memories, goldcards and under-six healthcare, asian anxieties, underdog sympathies, media distrust, the drive for utu following a near-fatal pack-r*pe, and a smile as wide as a buffalo’s eye….

    As with the MP (and Winnie last time), NACT won’t rule anyone out – until there’s votes in it. Lab should expand the Chrissy card budget to both stat – and the pious should compare Winnie’s dogwhistle lapse with Goffy’s.

    As for polls: remember the 70% refusal rate of “reliable” units, and watch for the “self-fulfilling prophesy” poll-effect for Winnie in the next one.

    • ianmac 12.1

      Just read a quote from Alan Alda on Celebity v Discontents: “Simple name/face recognition is one of the benchmarks of success in politics.” Key? Peters? But perhaps not Goff?

  13. Frederick 13

    This is what Colin Espiner wrote in 2008 when Peters was found guilty by the privileges committee.

    “As for Peters, his utter lack of contrition, humility, and failure to show even the slightest respect for the judgment of his peers was nauseous. He has become a parody – a caricature of belligerence, contempt, hubris, and narcissism. His address to Parliament last night was ugly, brutal, and sad. The shame of it all is that if just 5% of New Zealanders either believe him or feel sorry enough to vote for him he will be back triumphant.”

    Nothing has changed.He remains an utterly odious figure and I hope we have seen the last of him.

    Also I cannot agree with the “unsustainable lynching” charge. The evidence against him was overwhelming. From the moment he brandished the “No” sign he embarked on a series of lies which surely even the most gullible partisan supporter would be hard pressed to swallow.

    • bobo 13.1

      So will Wong use a “No” sign to declare that no personal business was done on any of the other 11 trips overseas? Did the media even get to ask her that question at her press conference ? Or any questions?

    • ak 13.2

      Ta Fred – super example of the massively disproportionate and viciously personal torrent of abuse that was thrown at Winnie for an alleged fib over a measly 100k when it’s common knowledge that the tories have chanelled millions for years with impunity – from the sober and independent pen of “political commentator of the year” no less! Any hopeful Horace that thinks he’d ever go anywhere near NACT again under any circumstances at all needs their head read…

    • From the moment he brandished the “No” sign he embarked on a series of lies which surely even the most gullible partisan supporter would be hard pressed to swallow.

      Thanks for distilling it so succinctly, Frederick.

      When I was called by journos wanting comment on the affair I certainly paused to consider whether this wasn’t all laid out in Winston’s “they’re all out to get me” playbook; and whether a decapitation now would see him rise from the dead later, rather than letting NZF wither and die.

      In the end my conclusion was, to paraphrase James Carville: “It’s the lies, stupid”. I’d already trashed my political career because he and Laws were conspiring to lie to the faces of the NZ public. At that time I partly contributed to a fall in their support from around 30% to 13% and, to some degree, averted the disaster that would have befallen the country with Winston in an even stronger position, used as Laws’ glove puppet.

      To permit him to lie again was to have made that sacrifice for nought, and to condone what I’d previously found intolerable.

      No politician should be able to lie and get away with it. If the voters are fool enough to give him a third chance, then that’s their prerogative. But if I have anything to do with it, they’ll do so with their eyes open.

      • lprent 13.3.1

        I wouldn’t disagree that I think Winston is full of bullshit and probably lies routinely about what he really thinks, does, and his underlying philosophy. But I think the same of John Key, and many other politicians. But in the end, without the benefit of your inside view, I am limited to see what is visible – like most voters.

        Like NZFs actual supporters which I definitely am not, I suspect that NZFs offenses were only highlighted using the Act sock puppet to help national in an election. My objection to that is that they have probably increased the time that the odious presence of NZF hangs around the political landscape. It was a typical example of the rights inherent short term thinking and basic inability to do anything useful on a long term basis

  14. bobo 14

    So which Labour supporters here prefer another term in opposition vs a possible LAB / NZF/ Green coalition if winston did get over 5%?

    • outofbed 14.1

      I don’t think one can assume for one moment that the Greens would buy into a Labour/NZFcoalition
      I think that many Greens feel that there is not much to choose between National under Key and Labour under Goff. They are probably right

      • bobo 14.1.1

        Winston might prefer being in opposition if he got in anyway, wouldn’t he relish attacking Key from the opposition benches one last time.

        Winston’s Bucket List
        See Key get rolled while on overseas Hawaiian holiday – tick
        Breakfast with Condi – tick
        20m bronze Winston Peters statue erected in honour outside parliament – in progress
        Rodney Hide banished to the Auckland islands. – tick

    • Pascal's bookie 14.2

      NZFirst would go with the Nats if the Greens were needed to form a government with Labour.

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Winston would prefer to go with the nats this time round anyway, revenge has many forms and having Key kissing up to him if ACT don’t get back in would have a certain appeal, I suspect.

      • bobo 14.2.1

        True a deal with Key might be the ultimate kiss my ass. Winston is a contradiction always has been.

      • ianmac 14.2.2

        As a supporter of MSM it is hard to understand the attitude of some expressed here. Are the critics able to produce the same venom against the range of MPs who over the years have lied?
        Shouldn’t there be a wide range of people across the spectrum in Parliament?
        And shouldn’t there be respect for those Parties who represent the minorities even though we might find them totally opposed to our values?
        (I am still not sure what Winston’s crime was actually. Key. Railway shares?)

        • smhead

          Maybe it’s hard for you to understand as a labour activist ianmac, but winston’s biggest crime was hypocrisy. He claimed for years that every other politician was a corrupt and evil liar and that everybody was in the pockets of big business and all the others conspired to keep the one honest politician down.

          And then he turned out to be exactly the guy, but worse, that he was railing against.

          • felix

            Who did he turn out to be worse than, exactly?

          • lprent

            Just like the hypocrical perk-luster himself – Rodney Hide for his own benefit, or Bill English rorting his rent.

            Tell me – were any of the charges against NZF aimed at Winston feathering his own nest?

            Or do you reserve your bile for people who don’t directly rip taxpayers off?

            • burt


              That is one of the best examples of point and shout “They did it too”‘ that I have seen for a long time.

              • lprent

                Well we cannot leave the technique to be exclusively in your hands. It needed improvement.

                But the important point is the distinction between that of personal corruption and just being a bit of an policy idiot. To me the former is always far more reprehensible than the latter. Personal senses of entitlement causes less immediate damage, but the long term damage if allowing a corrupt society to flourish are far more damaging than the idiots.

                Besides you do not to and cannot stop people bring idiots if they carry enough people in their madness. You just use the democracy that allows them to sprout like weeds to enure that the damage the cause is limited.

                It is the difference between an idiot like Muldoon or Winston, and that of Rodney and Bill’s actions. I got the distinct impression that the latter considered the only issue was that they got exposed in their troughing

                • burt


                  But the important point is the distinction between that of personal corruption and just being a bit of an policy idiot.

                  So accepting and not declaring a $100,000 donation from the Vella family while implementing tax cuts for the racing industry – that wasn’t personal corruption? FFS.

                  If Winston said he wouldn’t form a coalition with Labour then I suspect you might not be such an apologist for him.

                  • lprent

                    Waitemata trust – who were those anonymous donors with their millions? What policies has National driven through to help them? Not to mention the same for act.

                    If you want to argue that political party funding then perhaps we should start there.

                    But I was arguing about personal benefits to the rorting recipients rather the relationship between party fundng and a link to what parties support.

                  • burt

                    Ah yes the Waitemata trust, we learnt about that from the National party returns without needing the privileges committee to prove it existed. Keep digging….

                  • lprent

                    However what we don’t know is who put money into the Waitemata trust. Do you know? I surely don’t.

                    So the only thing we know is that an entity was formed for the sole purpose of hiding who contributes to the National party. The chinese wall theory sounds as flawed as it did in investment companies getting done for insider trading. It may have been legal, but it stinks to high heaven of payments for favors.

                    Well if you’re happy with having unknown contributors to a party while unhappy with a known contribution to different party (albeit not unreported by what looks like book-keeping screwups in a screwed up party) then I’d have to say that you have a interesting sense of variable ethics.

                    In other words you’re sounding like a hypocrite.

  15. Frederick 15

    Great post Rex at 6.42 PM.

    Of course senior figures in NZ First told him (1) not to put up the no sign and (2) apologise for the whole mess and show some contrition. Did he listen to them – hell no. Winston does not make errors of judgement.

    I agree all politicians of different flavours lie to some degree and all can be charged with the hypocritical line. But this took lies and hypocrisy to a new level. Politicians can sllightly fudge the truth or put a slant on a line delivered. However Peters lied and lied and the worse his position became the more extreme the lies. And the hypocrisy was just something to behold.

    And it could have been so different. He could have said yes “I received a donation to help with my legal fees but this was not a donation to the party” and a few weeks later the whole thing would have been forgotten. But no he lied. So the media did the job I expect them to do and found out he was a serial liar and super hypocrite.Isn’t that what we want from the media.

    How anyone on this site could possibly defend him with that tied old cliche “they’re all at it” is beyond me. Rex you’r right, I can’t think in a lifetime of following politics of a more blatant disregard of the truth.He got everything he deserved.

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