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Politics or Policy?

Written By: - Date published: 5:46 pm, October 9th, 2017 - 56 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2017, Financial markets, leadership, nz first, winston peters - Tags:

Policy is everything, Winston Peters said today. This should not come as a surprise. Before every election, he has refused to give any hint of Party support preference until after the vote. But it is highly likely that he has thought a lot about what he might want to do particularly as it has long been clear that his Party would likely decide the outcome. So what are his policies?

His priorities, his preferences and his principles have been clear since the formation of New Zealand First in 1993. He gave a good summary in this interview with Bernard Hickey before the 2014 election. Export-oriented economy, a reasonable exchange rate, a strong manufacturing sector, local processing for good jobs, and so on. They might be updated but they won’t have changed.

Unlike the self-centred image crafted for him by some of the bloviating egos in the media, Peters is a serious politician. New Zealand First is a principle, not just a name. In 1996, it was highly likely that he would go with National. Labour’s vote was only 28%, and earlier in the year NZ First had been ahead of Labour. And  behind Labour stood the Alliance, who were still opposed to Labour at the time. This time it may be different, as Labour and NZ First certainly have a better policy fit, and Labour and the Greens have reached significant accommodation.

The tight time-frame certainly indicates that Winston is setting the agenda for the talks. As said above he  has had plenty of time to think about what he wants and how to get it. We will know on Thursday.

 

 

56 comments on “Politics or Policy?”

  1. tracey 1

    Do you have a view as to what the thinking is behind him not talking directly to the Greens?

    I am assuming it was indicated to Labour early on that NZF wouldnt so does that mean Labour and Greens were meeting last week so Labour knows what will or wont fly with Greens when speaking to NZF?

    • lprent 1.1

      It just makes it too complicated doing a direct 3-way. It is always like that

      If he talks to the primary contract with Labour and so do the Greens, then Labour has to balance any deal – which is what they’d probably wind up having to do anyway in government. Better to find out now if they are up for it.

      The inability of Labour to find common ground with the Alliance back in 1996 was what doomed the possible coalition then. Especially since the Alliance was also trying to balance their internal coalition.

      • WILD KATIPO 1.1.1

        So basically he negotiates with Labour then Labour and the Greens hold a pow wow between them and sort out some areas then go back to Peters ?

      • Pedant 1.1.2

        It is as simple as Ardern saying to Shaw, if you don’t back us on confidence and supply with NZF then the public will know you are the reason National is back in power. Shaw for these reasons has zero power, Ardern knows there is nowhere for him to go. He is irrelevant.

        • Macro 1.1.2.1

          If you were a true pedant then you would know that that decision is not for James Shaw to make.
          Further more you would understand that as far as Winston is concerned the only viable option is a full muster of seats on the governing benches. Talk of confidence and supply is simply hogwash. Why else would he wait for the specials to be counted, if it was not to confirm an increased majority on the left?
          Winston has been in Parliament long enough to understand what a working majority is.
          If the Greens are not part of the next Government, then it will be a National led government, and it will not be the fault of the Greens, and NZF will wear it.

    • It truly is a baffling time,… Peters seems to be wanting to strike now for a more pre 1984 way of running the country ,… which is the best news I’ve heard in 33 years if it means hes going to demand the neutering of neo liberalism.

      As for the Greens ,… its a worry there seems to be this peculiar ‘third party’ thing going on currently. Greens social policy has much to offer and is compatible -ish with Labour and NZ First. Also environmental issues. Just a few tweaks and compromises from all 3 party’s and we could have a true renaissance of NZ politics. It would truly be dynamic.

    • infused 1.3

      Because the greens are irrelevant. The Greens should have gone to National first. The Greens will be sidelined in any LAB+NZF+Green govt.

      The Greens will, of course, take this deal.

      • It is National that is becoming increasingly irrelevant as they try to prevent the evolution of society away from being a capitalist one.

        They, too, cannot stop the tide.

  2. This guy reckons he leads a strong party. And he doesn’t like Winston. Some people call him Seymour , – others are more honest and call him Rimmer. And there is a reason Rimmer doesn’t like Winston. Winston stands for everything Rimmer opposes…

    https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/l/n/y/w/0/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620×349.1m5xxz.png/1507517642755.jpg

    But somehow?… I don’t think Winstons too worried about Rimmer,… and it looks like Winstons going to drive a nail into the coffin of neo liberalism this time round.

    Particularly after today’s talk of changing the way this country has been run economically and socially.

    We could just be starting to look at the healing of this country after 33 years of garbage. And that’s why Rimmer hates Winston.

  3. lprent 3

    Pretty much my view. Just wait and see what happens. Picking at the zit just adds bacteria and makes it worse. Besides, I think that Winston will just ignore it. Who else has as much experience at doing this these days 🙂

    I know that there is a lot of policy overlap with Labour, and despite rhetoric to the contrary there is probably even more overlap with the Greens.

    But there is a delicate balance within the factions in National about their current policies. I am sure that beneath the surface there is a civil war just waiting to break out between the conservatives/country party and the liberals. I think that dropping NZ First on to that is likely to set the same match to the explosion that caused such a fracture in National and between National and their voters in 1996-99.

    I rather suspect that the angst about NZ First inside the liberal wing of National is what has been driving some of the totally weird shit that they have been pushing about Winston and the Greens in the last couple of weeks

    • NewsFlash 3.1

      Wonderful analogy, “picking at the zit”.

      Patients is a Virtue, and National have never been particularly virtuous.

    • Skinny 3.2

      +1
      Your on to it sailor I give you 9 out of 10 for that astute call. It would have been a perfect 10 for your puff piece but for room for improvement and dare I say keeping your ego in check 🙂

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    On KB, this guy says:
    “Rightandleft

    First of all National is down 4 seats from the 2014 result, which is a sizeable drop. But it’s even bigger when the only way they have maintained 56 seats is to cannibalise the vote of their support partners. Maori lost two seats and United Future lost 1, so they’re really down 7 seats. ACT kept their seat only through their sweetheart deal while their party vote also dropped yet again.

    Comparing just the National and Labour vote is a ridiculous way to analyse things. That would always punish the left bloc for splitting their vote between 2 parties. Labour and the Greens have to be counted together. As Labour was only 5,000 special votes short of taking a third seat of National that would have tied the two blocs at 55-55 it is practically a tie between the two blocs.

    But that doesn’t take into account that a significant majority of NZ First voters lean left as well. Their campaign slogan was “Had Enough?” and a pre-election poll showed their voters favoured Labour over National by 60% to 25%. Their annual conference was dominated by attacks on “Neo-Liberalism” and National Party globalists driving open-door immigration. They are clearly more ideologically aligned with the Left bloc.

    It was a vote for change. A narrow one, with Labour-Greens combined 43.2%, Just over half of NZ First’s vote (say 3.8%) adding up to 48% with the Nats (44.5), ACT (0.5), Maori (1.1) and a quarter of NZ First’s vote (1.8) adding up to 47.9%. Now TOP got 2.2% and I suspect the majority of their voters (being mainly stolen from the Greens) also wanted to get rid of National, but they were at least open to Morgan working with the Nats so I won’t give them to either side. The same could be said of the Maori Party vote of course.

    What I am hearing from party insiders and what I gather from all the rubbish from Farrar and other Nats about a National-Green Government is that Winston is much more likely to go with Labour. Personally I’d put the chances at a 70-30 advantage to Labour right now.”

    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2017/10/seats_lost_after_nine_years_of_government.html#comments

    • Rightandleft is always good value, especially on anything to do with charter schools.

    • NewsFlash 4.2

      Robert

      I’m an optimist too, but all the kafuffle over the special votes, wait and see, and then Peters arguing with the media about the outcome and stating that it is “significant”, puts me in the same boat as you, a likely L/G/NZF govt, but nothing is written in stone.

      Just saw English being interviewed by H Barry, and still didn’t see the level of optimism that you would expect if things looked like they’re going his way. btw, Barry and Hoskings need to go, I’m not sure which one is worse.

      • Robert Guyton 4.2.1

        Wanted to make a joke about Mrs Kerfuffle, Bart’s teacher, but luckily, checked the spelling only to be reminded that it was Edna Krabappel , so was saved the ignominity of revealing I’d misremembered her name. Then, much chastened by the near miss/old Mrs, thought to check ignominity and discovered that I’d struck it lucky, as my version is considered a kosher alternative to ignominy. Phew! Checking kosher now…

      • cleangreen 4.2.2

        100% NEWSFLASH.
        “H. Barry and Hoskings need to go, I’m not sure which one is worse.”

        I dont like RNZ’s Suzie Furguson either as she was today on RNZ + annoyed me big time when she kept asking Winston over and over the same bloody dumb questions abiout talking to the Greens!!!!! – GGGGRRRRRR!

        She was doing the classic thing fishing to trap Winston, but she failed and looked stupid instead.

        She is seeming to be trying to help Bill English by entrapping Winston with words she needs to go if she doesn’t clean-up her act.

        She should remeber she is a public servant and act with some integrity instead of having a secret agenda.

    • Ian 4.3

      Wishfull thinking Robert.Love it how you are now qualifying the vote for change as a narrow one. Order in bulk tissues mate , you are going to need them. Adding Winston to the NZ green party is like adding petrol to Harpic.If it happens dive for cover because the subsequent explosion will cover everyone in shit.

      • Robert Guyton 4.3.1

        Ian, science question: how does adding petrol to Harpic create shit?

        • Antoine 4.3.1.1

          I believe the concept is that you mix petrol into the Harpic, swill it vigorously around your long drop, then toss in a match, causing the entire shithouse to head skyward in a cloud of fragments. I have not verified this experimentally though.

          A.

          • WILD KATIPO 4.3.1.1.1

            Yeah – ammonia derivatives , that’s why. Makes a nice gas to mix with the benzene molecule etc etc… my science days were years ago so whatever.

      • WILD KATIPO 4.3.2

        Hehehee ,… except if Winston and the Greens kiss and make up ,…. you know what that means for National ,- not just next election , but election , after election , after election , after election ,… I’m sure you are starting to get the drift now ,… need I say more.

        So you can put away your petrol and your ‘Harpic’ ( ???) until after Thursday…

  5. Once was Tim 5

    In celebrity news today, MSM musings over policy took second place whilst the 1,000 word count loomed: Did anyone notice Paula getting into the lift today? Leopard skin prints – all gone. Paling Blue tending Teal – all gone. A Funeral Black tailored number – possibly in shiffon, or – perhaps rayon – complete with white Maggie Thatcher Gucci style handbag that’s now in vogue and all the rage in Monaco. Alongside her, Bill smirked and waddled in formal Blue, whilst the choice of his deputy’s unpressed shirt told its own story as they all shuffled into the Beehive lift.

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      Bill was wearing his deputy’s unpressed shirt!
      A sure sign that Winston’s gone Left!

    • Quasimodo 5.2

      “Leopard skin prints – all gone. Paling Blue tending Teal – all gone. A Funeral Black tailored number – possibly in shiffon, or – perhaps rayon – complete with white Maggie Thatcher Gucci style handbag that’s now in vogue and all the rage in Monaco.”

      OMG where will Paula go now ? Teresa May might need a hand to sort out Brexit ..

  6. Jilly Bee 6

    I can’t but help think that we may be in line for the perfect political shit storm/melt down with all the N Z First so-called bottom lines coming into play – foreign ownership, construction industry, migrant cut, investment bans to name a few if Winston Peters does decide to go with National. The Nats will surely be choking on those big rats they will have to swallow and their membership plus their big backers and (overseas?) donors, as well as the much vaunted Blue Dragon brigade, will be wondering what the hell has gone to curdled custard. Interesting times ahead, indeed. Will it be a poisoned chalice for Labour and the Greens as well? I know I’m hedging my bets – just hope for a Labour/Green alliance with N Z First as they have so much more in common than the Nats, I’ll be mad as hell if they go with them, but the perfect storm may be worth witnessing. Sorry to be so indecisive, but these are interesting times – again!
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/341131/shuddering-halt-would-follow-drastic-migrant-cut-ema
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11931216
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11931184

  7. … ” I can’t but help think that we may be in line for the perfect political shit storm/melt down with all the N Z First so-called bottom lines coming into play – foreign ownership, construction industry, migrant cut, investment bans to name a few if Winston Peters does decide to go with National ” …

    L00L ! , – it would be a right corker to watch !

    Watching Peters dismantle neo liberalism piece by piece , vetoing Bill after Bill , tearing down the sacred cows of free trade deals , TTPA , – kicking in all the vested interests and making all the little New Zealand Initiative people sad… 33 years of careful planning and political manipulating all down the DRAIN !!!

    Maybe THIS will be the legacy Peters has been after all these years !!!

    I reckon this songs kinda says it all , – just replace ‘Jim’ and ‘Slim ‘ with ‘ Win ‘ ….

    And you’ll get the drift.

    Jim Croce – Greatest Hits – You Don’t Mess Around With Jim – YouTube

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.1

      One way or another, TPPA, or at least the worst aspects (e.g. ISDS) are dead in a Winston deal – a good outcome.

      https://www.parliament.nz/en/document/50HansQ_20130821_00000009

      • red-blooded 7.1.1

        Surely that depends on who he goes with. National are very committed to reviving what they can of TPPA. Winston won’t get all of his bottom lines.

        • WILD KATIPO 7.1.1.1

          He will if he threatens to walk on the TTPA issue….

          • red-blooded 7.1.1.1.1

            How does that get him ALL of his bottom lines? (There’re heaps of them.)

            Besides, I wonder if the Nats would let him walk. Some dead rats are too big to swallow. They’re absolutely committed to TPPA and might well calculate that having a term out of government would be better than putting themselves in a position from which they’d find it hard to sidle up to their TPP buddies and try to get in on whatever’s left of the deal, later on.

            We’ll soon see, of course.

            • WILD KATIPO 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Reality is Peters wont get all his bottom lines,… and even he realizes that. ( And even more so if he goes with National . And that’s a real clue ) . Just look at the Maori seats thing. Just bargaining chips some of them,… but others , .. like the TTPA ,… goes right against everything Peters ever stood for both economically and socially.

              Those words ‘ economically and socially ‘ ,… interesting , as thats what Peters outlined yesterday … that there is going to be a change in the way this country has been run for the last 30 years , both ‘economically and socially’…

              That should tell us what is closest to Peters heart.

              He don’t like neo liberalism and never has. And that’s also why he battled with Ruth Richardson , Jenny Shipley , – and – ACT.

              And he knows the TTPA is something National wants. Peters will definitely use this as an unchanging bottom line . This one is no fantasy.

              Here’s another very telling paragraph from Peters election night speech which seems quite pointed in its effect :

              … ” We don’t like extremists, – we believe in laws and policy’s that support the mass majority of New Zealanders , and not just a small elite ,… who may have gotten control of the political system and the financial funding of political party’s , … shows that in this campaign ” …

              – Winston Peters.

              23/9/2017.

      • CHCOff 7.1.2

        TPPA is ‘soviet union/communism’ supply side monopoly type central planning economics, without any sense of nationhood or sovereignty to reign in the crime syndicates that would flourish over the old social structures.

        If other countries go down that path and NZ is free of it, then NZ Goods & Services will have a significant ‘relative’ advantage and reputation in the medium to long term.

  8. Strategos 8

    Winston needs a full facial moko to complement facial lines / skin creases around his eyes.
    It would be a well-honed test of character in preparation for a starring role on the world stage.

    An appropriate headline would be
    “NZ1st’ Deflates Pseudo Patriotic Pretensions of ‘National’ ”
    .. but I won’t be holding my breath.

    • … ” Winston needs a full facial moko to complement facial lines / skin creases around his eyes ”…

      I’ve thought that from time to time as he has aged a bit , – you can see flashes of it in his face . Peters wouldn’t , … but it would befit the man for sure. Something Chiefly about the man , … elder statesman sort of thing . Doesn’t take crap from anyone.

    • Robert Guyton 8.2

      He raperape would be more suitable and great fun for Winston at parties.

  9. Antoine 9

    > Policy is everything, Winston Peters said today.

    Although, he may just be saying that.

    A.

  10. Great article by Chris Trotter today in Stuff , observing the very legacy of Peters…

    Chris Trotter: ‘Dear Winston’ – an open letter to the leader of NZ First …
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/chris-trotter-dear-winston–an-open-letter-to-the-leader-of-nz-…

  11. cleangreen 11

    Winston is turning out to be our saviour we were all searching for after reading all these excellent blogs.

    So to ‘all my fine friends here’ I am joining the chorus on this post also, asking Winston to go ‘left’ through his 33 ys of “policys” as he begins to chip away at the rotting Neo-liberal greedy carcass of the once “grand old national party” and returns New Zealand to a “brighter fiuture as we had pre- 1984.” as his ‘Legacy’ gift back to us all.

    “Take back our country” time is upon us shortly.

    • TBH ,… I’ve got a feeling it wont matter if he goes Labour or National in some respects this time round ,… there’s something afoot and Peters is talking ‘change’ – social and economic change in the ‘ way this country is being run’ .

      Those are fighting words.

      Because the only way this country has been run in Peters words ‘since 1984 ‘ has been a neo liberal one. He is obviously working on overturning that .

      And hes got them all by the short and curly’s and they know it.

      And they are all going to have to buck up their ideas.

  12. Orthodoxia 12

    Whoever Winston does go with, I do hope that between them they properly deal with the housing issue. We need to get foreign speculators out, stop property investment being so attractive tax wise and encourage the younger generation into housing (perhaps by reinjecting Kiwisaver with some fresh energy). Also need to seriously look at social housing stock. Without stable accommodation, education, health etc are not much use.

  13. JanM 13

    I really hope the cancellation of National Standards is a ‘bottom line’. So tired of watching my grandchildren burdened with this nonsense. Go Tracey!

  14. Hehehe… interesting article on Stuff ,…

    … ” This shouldn’t be overstated. If weaker business sentiment contributed to a weaker kiwi dollar, export returns would improve and the country would become even more attractive for international tourists ” …

    Interesting Peters is taking a swipe at ‘ foreign investment ‘ and intent on lowering the dollar all in one breath and that it will favour exporters ( the rural provincials etc … ) – and revitalizing the manufacturing base …

    Pattrick Smellie: On whose watch does the rock star economy give up …
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/Pattrick-Smellie-On-whose-watch-does-the-rock-star-econom…

  15. Delia 15

    I don’t vote Peters because we always wind up with him glorying in this b/s, when a first priority should be the people of the country. We should know before the election who his party is the most compatible with…well here is his swan song at our expense.

  16. marious 16

    The voting public should vote on a current governments record to decide clearly who they wont to govern.
    Not Winston Peters or any other politician.
    All parties should clearly state their support preferences and policies before the election allowing the public to make a clear choice.
    If the voting public are re-leaved of the choice and politicians make the decision, as NZ first is doing, whats the point of having people vote in an election?
    System needs adjustment.

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