If you think that’s a stretch (and Peters has run with conspiracy theories on less), here’s another theory that’s been doing the rounds much longer.
It is that Peters will only retire after he has fulfilled his ambition of one day being prime minister. It’s even said to have been put on the able in NZ First’s protracted negotiations to form a government in 1996.
Election night 2017 might be now or never for Peters, given he will be 72 by the time the next election rolls around.
Which is why the Labour-Greens cooperation agreement announced this week might be the game changer everyone is talking about, but not in the way they think.
Because it may bring Peters’ dream within his grasp.
Let’s say the election delivers a result of National 41%, Labour 33%, Greens 15%, NZ First 11%.
NZ First holds the balance of power. Peters demands to be made PM. The Greens say no, so Labour couldn’t do it even if they wanted to (which they wouldn’t). But National are desperate to cling to power. Key gets shipped out to Hawaii and bang you have Winston as PM.