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Peters smacks down Key

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, June 17th, 2012 - 52 comments
Categories: election 2014, john key, winston peters - Tags: ,

John Key must be getting a bit nervous about his falling polls and lack of viable coalition partners. He started preparing the ground to work with NZF:

Key not ruling out deal with NZ First

Prime Minister John Key is not ruling out working with New Zealand First in the future, saying he will spell out potential partners ahead of the next election. National banned post-election deals with New Zealand First in 2008 and 2011 but Mr Key did not rule out working with the party after the 2014 election in an interview on The Nation this morning.

Kind of makes a mockery of Key and the rabid right’s previous character assassination of Peters doesn’t it – the Nats are quite happy to work with Peters if he can get them back in to power. The strategy was clear – use both parties’ intransigence on Superannuation as common ground. Go for the ageing vote to try and get them over the line, “the coalition that will protect your Super!” and so on. So Key tried to box Peters in:

Peters challenged over ‘bottom line’

Prime Minister John Key has thrown down the gauntlet to NZ First leader Winston Peters to clarify his “bottom line” over the pension age. …

“This is my challenge to Winston Peters – I dare him to go out there and say he will not under any conditions form a government with Labour even if Labour’s policy is to raise the super age from 2020, not in the 3 year period from 2014 to 2017. I dare him to say that. He will not. He will not because he’s tricky. He’ll find a way around all of that stuff.”

I thought that Peters might go for it. National / NZF might just have won it on a Save Super ticket. But for whatever strange reasons that motivate Winston Peters (I’ve long ago given up trying to guess), Peters instead smacked down Key good and hard:

Peters fires back at PM about pension

Winston Peters has called Prime Minister John Key’s bluff by refusing to rule out going with Labour because of its plans to raise the pension age, saying changes wouldn’t kick in during the next term. “Realistically, it’s not an issue,” the New Zealand First leader said. …

Key, who last week said he was “holding hands with Winston” over the issue, yesterday laid down the gauntlet to Peters. “I dare him to go out there and say he will not under any conditions form a government with Labour, even if Labour’s policy is to raise the super age from 2020, not in the three-year period from 2014 to 2017. “I dare him to say he will not, because he’s tricky and he’ll find a way all around all of that stuff.”

But Peters took exception. “Tricky am I? I never worked for a company that took the American people to the cleaners and then went broke and got the American people to bail them out,” he said, referring to Key’s time with investment company Merrill Lynch.

He said NZ First would not do a deal with another party 2 1/2 years out from the next election, and the challenge showed National was in trouble. Key was “running out of friends, support and excuses”, Peters said.

Peters also hit back at Key’s comments on the infamous teapot tape – that NZ First’s supporters were dying off – saying they knew they couldn’t trust Key any more than previous National leaders who had lifted the age of entitlement and raised the surcharge rate. “This is about people’s lives, not some sort of tawdry deal in the dealers’ room.”

I get the impression that Peters enjoyed that more than was entirely decent. Ouch! So Johnny still has no mates for 2014…

52 comments on “Peters smacks down Key ”

  1. Shane Gallagehr 1

    Has John Key lost all touch with reality? Grey Power are leading the Keep Our Assets campaign – they were leading the march here in Dunedin and they are doing a great job getting the petition signed. That is Winston’s happy hunting ground for votes…

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Has John Key lost all touch with reality?

      I suspect the better question is: Was he ever in touch with reality?

  2. I think it was unwise of Key to dig into his Super hole more, but that’s what he’s done here.

    Peters waffled and blustered on Q+A quite a bit, as usual, but he did clarify his position (to me anyway, I got the wrong impression yesterday).

    He said that it’s far too soon to make position statements for the 2014 election.

    And he said that he was fixed on a 65 age of eligibility until a change was proven to be justified. fair enough. But I’d like to know whether NZ First will join discussions on Super options or leave it to others to examine options and make a case for change or no change,.

    • Policy Parrot 2.1

      People are tending to forget that under Labour’s proposed policy those who really need the super, i.e. the medically retired, will be able to get it at 65, in fact I personally hope that this is changed to 60. Yes, in the period between 60-67 it should be additionally (to medical tests) asset and income tested (in some way) – that way it is only for those who it is genuinely intended (circa Student Allowances). These people should also be entitled to access their Kiwisaver accounts at this age as well.

      There is little likelihood that this will lead to any pensioners being left out in the cold. They, and correctly so, obviously feel that there is inherently more danger in the possibility that distant foreign owned power companies will be uncaring and unfeeling towards them. And all of the data supports their position.

      • I don’t see why we shouldn’t have some additional income-testing past the age of general eligibility to cut out the wealthy retirees who don’t need any government support but for some reason still want the extra money. People for whom it will add some degree of security to is one thing, but let’s at least put a sanity cap on super so we aren’t giving it to millionaires.

        • McFlock

          Because every time national gets in, “income thesholds” become an excuse to deny income to those who need it.

    • North 2.2

      “Unwise” of Key was it Mr George ? My, you do measure your words.

      It wasn’t unwise…….it was bloody near begging for the metaphorical punch in the mouth, which he got. Poetic !

      It really does go to show two things.

      Firstly – Key really does entertain entitlement to rule.

      Secondly – Key has contempt for everyone. When he sticks to the spin script it’s harder to pick but he was off in a daydream the other day, probably still suffering with Regina Fever, and it showed.

    • jack 2.3

      Pete George, what Winston was saying is he thinks this whole thing is a scare tactic to privatise superannuation. He’s right. As the other fellow said on Q&A, a FINANCIAL ADVISOR, those that caused the meltdown, is that it needs to be looked at. I sense a fear tactic in here and Winston is saying everyone should relax. I lived in the states and usually there is a 401 plan, retirement, that those that worked went into with the company. I left the US but I was reading about those that retired and used the 401 k plan from their company received a letter that the company went bankrupt. The high paying company laywers worked overtime and the plan they came up with was criminal. The company would close down the first company, say A, then form a B and transfer the funds to B. Ma and Pa didn’t have the money to sue and these assholes made out like bandits. So, trust me, you don’t want to privatise superannuation!!!!!! This is John Key’s buddies he worked with that want this plan.. Winston is warning you people of this!!

  3. Peters should put 1 and 1 together.
    If we took back from the banksters what they have ripped off us over the years, we could all retire at age 50. 
    Retirement would then become the point of existence not its miserable end.

    • bad12 3.1

      Yeah I second that thought, given NZFirsts stance of NO change in superannuation payments it then shifts the onus within the debate onto those who consider the present payment options to be unaffordable and who also wish to form the next and future Governments to explore the options for Government to make the necessary economic changes so as to make superannuation payments in their present form affordable according to their specific mindsets or based upon ‘evidence’ of future un-affordability…

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      If we rationalised the economy the work week would be far less than it is, everyone would have a reasonable living standard and “retirement” would be whenever you chose. Unfortunately, everyone seems to think the entire point of the economy is to make more money rather than supporting society.

    • Carol 3.3

      Peters should put 1 and 1 together.
      If we took back from the banksters what they have ripped off us over the years, we could all retire at age 50.

      Peters has kind of:


      New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has hit out at what he says is scaremongering over the pension age driven by vested interests in his speech to his party’s annual conference this afternoon.
      “There is no ageing crisis. The pension age and the amount paid is affordable.”

      He warned the Financial Services Council’s proposal was ”the start of privatisation of national superannuation”.

      “If any government listens to the council it will be the start of the end of a universal state pension scheme and the introduction of a means tested pittance.”

      But he spoils it by getting into a bit of immigrant bashing.

      • Oscar 3.3.1

        Ah, but his immigrant bashing is somewhat justified.

        Personally, I feel that NZS should only be paid to those who were born here.

        • Colonial Viper

          So if Michael Joseph Savage had lived to a ripe old age, you would have denied him the NZ Super he created?

  4. captain hook 4

    looks like kweewee is going to have to double dare him with both fingers and heart crossed.
    gettin’ hinky dudes.

  5. Luva 5

    Natioanl does really surprise me on this issue. Raising the age of elegibility sits nicely with the rest of it policy platforn of cuts to working New Zealanders entitlements. I thought they would be welcoming Labour stepping in the same direction as them. A step that is being championed by Nats supporters.

    Peters did nothing more than leave his options open today. By 2014 the assets will be sold and that wont really be an election issue. The job will be done.

    Labour has decided to make government super the next big issue. They have taken a stance that doesnt naturally allign it with the party that stands for grey issues. And it will prove to be a hurdle if Labour wants to make it an issue.

    You may well see NZfirst closer to National because of this issue come elction time.

    • Policy Parrot 5.1

      “By 2014 the assets will be sold and that wont really be an election issue. The job will be done.”

      What a croc. Even if all of the assets are partially privatised by then, whats to stop them privatisating them 100% (in order to reach surplus?) in a god-forbid third term? Or those assets which haven’t been mentioned yet, e.g. TVNZ, Kiwibank, KiwiRail?

      Nothing – you dream if you believe this won’t be an issue.

    • Peters did nothing more than leave his options open today.

      He did more than that. He said the age of eligibility shouldn’t change. And…

      Mr Peters said the bottom-line for an NZ First coalition deal would be increasing the rate of super from 66% of the average wage to 68%.


      So not only does he not see a problem with the cost of Super escalating, he wants it to escalate more quickly.

      • KJT 5.2.1

        It is not a problem.

        The whole thing is scaremongering by the same people who are giving us assets sales and the GFC.

  6. It is high time that key’s past comes back to bite him and so it should.
    In the 80’s he was one of those responsible for the crash on our dollar,
    in fact the then reserve bank governer phoned the Bankers Trust and told
    Key and co to leave our dollar alone.
    The public should be made aware of his shonkey dealings throughout
    his money shuffling work life.
    Did key care about nz then having been born here,not on your nelly,
    he was in it for himselft,which points to everything he is doing now
    will lead to a benefit for him when he has scuttled away to hawaii
    and still in reciept of a tax payer paid lifelong perks and income.
    Where is the justice?

    • jack 6.1

      And, Key was head of derivates for Merrill Lynch in Europe. He sold a lot of them to Ireland.. Now he is CEO of New Zealand and wants New Zealand to be the hub of the south pacific for bankers. He’s nothing but a Parasite which is why he is clueless as to run this country properly and we’re seeing some rediculous statements from him… Winston shot him down. Good

    • jaymam 6.2

      The tricky deals with Bankers Trust are in the Winebox, if you happen to have a copy. Which I do.

      • travellerev 6.2.1

        I’d love to know about the Bankers trust deals. Any chance you can get in touch with me via my blog (linked to my moniker travellerev)

  7. It’s naiive to think that Winston Peters won’t entertain supporting a National Government. In fact, he went out of his way to avoid the question, as he’s bound to do.

    Let’s be very clear about this. There will not be a Labour-led government in 2014 unless Labour + Greens are more than 61 seats in parliament.

    If the numbers fall the wrong way, Winston won’t be having a cup of tea with either David Shearer or anyone who angles themselves into Labour’s leadership by then.

    • Scott 7.1

      I would hope Winston is smart enough not to pair up with National again. He’s better in Confidence and Supply and he’s smart enough not to give away any promises too soon.

    • Anne 7.2

      It’s naiive to think that Winston Peters won’t entertain supporting a National Government.

      After what they did to him in 2008? It’s more like he will string them along and then dump them if he ends up with the balance of power after the next election. Revenge is sweet my friend.

      Btw its naive.

  8. tracey 8

    I noticed peters didnt have the balls to mention oldies from the uk… Being a strong number of his supporters

  9. fender 9

    Key better call a snap election then so he can make use of the NZ First vote before they all die off as he claimed they were in his very secretive meeting at a cafe.

    • Bob 9.1

      Not so secretive http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvEOh2KOTqg

      And note he says ‘his constituency (The body of voters or the residents of a district represented by an elected legislator or official) is dying off’ which is very different to ‘his constituants (Serving as part of a whole; component: a constituent element) are dying off’ as seems to have been reported. Although this is obviously far too subtle for MSM and I would suggest most readers here to pick up on.

  10. Jenny 10

    With the next election still two and half years away, Mr Key may be being a wee bit presumptuous here.

    When most likely, during this period, Labour will dump their neo-liberal plan to raise the age of Super eligibility, in favor of a more typical Social Democratic strategy of increasing taxation on the rich. Which could easily address any Super shortfall.

    Click on the following link to the No Right Turn expose’ of the so called “Superannuation Crisis” showing it to be no more than a neo-liberal beat up, based on lies and hysteria. which could be easily fixed with a moderate tax increase on the rich.


    Reading the above link it is clear that neo-liberal spin doctors within Labours ranks will have their work cut out getting Labour supporters to swallow this lie for the full two and half years till the next election.

    As Abraham Lincoln used to say, “You can fool all the people only some of the time….”

    Time will see an inevitable Labour Party backdown, which will automatically remove any reason for Peters to favour Key over Shearer.

    Leaving Peters free, to be able to resume his favored role of king maker, to be courted by both major parties in a policy bidding war.

    Why would would Peters commit himself so early in the piece, when all he has to do is wait.

  11. xtasy 11

    No growth, no development, no investment in sustainable energy generation, value added, higher end production, not sufficient investment in alternative, public transport, no money for building housing that is affordable and possibly can create sufficient energy to power heating and utility usage independently, no further investment in education, cuts, slashing, burning and more, and well, that is where we are now.

    Zero budgets, zero investment, zero growth, zero perspectives, zero bonding of graduates to feel motivated to stay home in NZ to work and earn a living, zero this, that and the other.

    NZ is standing at the top of a cliff, the abyss, nothing much happening, all being geared to no real change, more of the same, primary production leading to cows and cattle pissing the creeks, rivers and lakes full, more intesification planned, large cattle ranches on the agenda on the South Island, and living costs spiralling into the unaffordable, while assets get sold to eventually overseas interests.

    Fire sales, gambling dens to be expanded (Sky City), sick, invalids and sole parents coerced into working for any conditions and a pittance, rights denied, legal aid cut, people being dumbed down by mass media delivering no true information and the last ones that have enough to buy a ticket lining up at airport checkouts to get out of this hell hole.

    Welcome to NZ 2012, the Keysian dream land of a “brighter future”, I suppose.

    So good on Peters to deal to that guy.

    National will be out for a long and frosty holiday from government, once the next election is decided. No deals for them, they are goners, for sure. Sadly some cling to their entitlements of the wrong kind. Throwh them out.

    • Probably heading for a Greece and maybe birth of a Kiwi Syriza.
      National are bankrupt, morally and politically, and bankrupting the rest of us economically.
      Labour is like PASOK committed to austerity lite. Labour will probably split with the left, youth, etc heading towards a kiwi Syriza.
      So who is going to unite all the anti-austerity, anti-caps onto a Kiwi Syriza, Mana?

      • xtasy 11.1.1

        A bit of a cheek: Maybe go to your nearest ATM, draw out as much as you can, get whatever you need to get “high” or “happy” on, stock up, cover your backside as much as is possible, prepare for the cops, WiNZ, IRD and others to raid you, but leave NO traces, enjoy the last days of easy credit, while the going is good.

        After this binge, the hell will break loose, unless we have the social movement take over and control.

        The Nats, ACT and their masters will drive us into the ground, well, they will try.

        So ready for the long, arduous battle ahead.

        Just thought, it may pay to “party” a bit on their expense before the debt collectors come knocking at the door, and trying to know us down into the ground.


        Otherwise follow the news re “Grexit”, or whatever they call it now (beginning of the end of a “bygone era”).

  12. prism 12

    I get the impression that Peters enjoyed that more than was entirely decent. Ouch! So Johnny still has no mates for 2014…

    I reckon he would love making these points all the way. And punched well too – as I said before our own Muhammed Ali.

  13. chris73 13

    Meh, I’d rather Labour win than National win with WinstonFirst

    • felix 13.1

      And that’s how soft National’s lead is.

      • chris73 13.1.1

        I believe both Labour and National want to do what is best for NZ (in their eyes of course), Winston I think is only in it for himself…

        • KJT

          Why are National selling power companies, then?


          “”Trashing a top class education system, trashing WINZ, trashing ACC. Not to mention trashing NZ as an egalitarian society and causing a recession to deepen with idiot policy like public service layoffs and tax cuts for Hawaii holidays.

          It is malice””.

          What current National policies are in New Zealand’s best interests?

          I have my doubts about Labour as well, when I hear them still parroting failed Neo-liberal crap, like, we cannot afford to keep our old people. Which is what saying we cannot afford super, really means.

          • Populuxe1

            Why is water wet? Selling public assets is all the Nats know how to do.

            • Colonial Viper

              There was a time when conservatives knew how to build up the country’s assets.

              • Populuxe1

                Sadly not since Muldoon, not that I’d ever want to see his style of governance return. I’m all for Wet Conservatism. Winston would be the last remnant of pre-Neoliberal National, when it still had some morals.

  14. Did Winston Peters just call John Key publicly on his dodgy bankers past?

    “Tricky am I? I never worked for a company that took the American people to the cleaners and then went broke and got the American people to bail them out,” he said, referring to Key’s time with investment company Merrill Lynch.

    Me thinks he knows a lot more than he lets on. I can’t wait for him to use it at an opportune time!

  15. gobsmacked 15

    So, on One News tonight there’s a story on Peters and his dodgy immigrant numbers (on TV 3 as well).

    And they get a soundbite from the leader of the Labour party.

    Does he say “We will have no truck with this blatant scaremongering. Winston has done this for 20 years and it’s tired and predictable and nasty and just plain wrong”?

    No, of course he doesn’t. He says “Ooh, we might have to look at those numbers”, or some such feeble flannel.

    What’s next? Shearer gives a Pagani speech on ‘Nationhood’ to Palmerston North Grey Power? Yeah, coz that worked really well last time, didn’t it?


  16. Tanz 16

    Why isn’t Key ruling out working with Winston at the next election? Where is the integrity now?

    • Populuxe1 16.1

      Why assume Winston would work with Key anyway? National are covered in ordure.

  17. Tanz 17

    Winston would, he is after all, ex National. Anything to be back at the main levers, I reckon. But as they say, anything can happen.

    • Populuxe1 17.1

      It’s a mistake to conflate National then and National now – Neoliberalism is as much an anathema for Winston as it is a fetish for Key and his mates. We’re talking the difference between Wet Conservatives (Winston) and Dry Conservatives (National) – oil and water, chalk and cheese.

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