Will NZ First make it back into Parliament?

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, September 8th, 2020 - 43 comments
Categories: election 2020, greens, james shaw, new conservatives, nz first, uncategorized, winston peters - Tags: ,

He has had more lives than your average cat but surely this is the last election for Winston Peters and NZ First.

The polls are against him, although they have been against him in the past.  But this election there is a great deal of competition for the fringe nutty part of the electorate.  We have the New Conservatives, Vision New Zealand, the One Party and Advance New Zealand all vying for the attention of voters who New Zealand First have always appealed to.  Mix in different variations of racist xenophobia and popular conspiracy theories and there are now five parties competing for not very many votes.

The pressure seems to be showing.  Winston had this melt down of an interview on Sunday.

It was classic Winston, but this is not necessarily a good thing.

Winston did what Winston does and during a 13 minute interview:

  • Broke Cabinet understandings of collective decision making by saying he disagreed with the Covid response over masks, quarantine arrangements and the use of the Military, even though they were used.
  • Called Jack Tame “James” a number of times and described him as “Junior” and “Billy the Kid”.  Also claimed that he (Peters) was in control of the interview.
  • Refused to comment on allegations that NZ First was responsible for leaking information about the Green School funding and said that he should have been told he would be asked about this.  Dear Winston when you go on media you should expect to be asked about anything.
  • Refused to answer questions about why two of his associates were given spots on a taxpayer funded flight to Antarctica.
  • Failed to explain adequately why Christchurch should have a racetrack funded by the Provincial Growth Fund.
  • Declined to say how much money the horse racing industry has donated to New Zealand First.
  • Refused to answer questions about the SFO investigation into the New Zealand First Foundation and in particular if he personally or his partner Jan Trottman have been interviewed by the SFO.

You may sense a personal preference that New Zealand First is not returned to Parliament.  This is because the New Zealand First opposition to anything the Greens have proposed has been a major problem for the last Government.  James Shaw summed it up perfectly in the Adjournment Debate in Parliament:

And here we are, Mr Speaker, the final hour of the final day of the 52nd Parliament.

Our business, for the moment, complete.

I know everyone here is champing at the bit to get out campaigning around the country.

Trying out their new election slogans.

There’s Labour: “Let’s keep moving.”

New Zealand First: “Let’s not.”

You can almost see the ads can’t you?

“New Zealand First: You can stop progress.”

Of course it is far too early to write Winston off and anything is possible.  But I for one will not be upset if New Zealand First do not make it back.  Their reflexive anti Green response to any policy proposal is stopping the country from very important change.

43 comments on “Will NZ First make it back into Parliament? ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    Yep..to see the demise of Shane…Jones will be great !

  2. woodart 2

    I hold no love for winston, but two things to consider. without him, jacinda wouldnt have been P.M… and second ,I personally think we need four or five parties in parliament for our m.m.p. to work reasonably well. I disagree with almost everything act stands for, but think we need them to give representation to those sort of voters? in your column ,you seem to throw nzfirst in with some fairly shady flyby nighters. nzfirst have been in parliament for most of the last 25 yrs, so do have a legitamate claim to be a proper political party(if there is such a thing). be careful of what you wish for….

    • greywarshark 2.2

      Hmm wise thinking woodart.

    • Patricia Bremner 2.3

      Yes, according to some here Winston chose the lesser of two evils, and he definitely kept some act type voters on board. He also believes in a Global World we should consider NZ first. Hence the name.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1

        And we should be putting NZ first. We do need to protect ourselves from those who would destroy us in the greed while also engaging with the rest of the world.

      • lurgee 2.3.2

        I'm pretty sure most NZ politicians "consider NZ first."

        They just don't pretend it is a USP for their party.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.4

      nzfirst have been in parliament for most of the last 25 yrs, so do have a legitamate claim to be a proper political party

      Time in parliament doesn't really give any party any more legitimacy than any other party. Its their policies and actions that do that.

      in your column ,you seem to throw nzfirst in with some fairly shady flyby nighters.

      It's not MS that's done that. It's NZFirst itself.

      I personally think we need four or five parties in parliament for our m.m.p. to work reasonably well.

      IMO, to make our parliament work better we need to:

      • Lower the threshold. Any party that has enough votes to gain 1 seat should be in parliament
      • Remove electorates thus making parliament fully proportional
      • Better engagement with the general populace in the formation of policy
      • A means for the population to stop policy going through
      • A means for the populace to remove an MP immediately when gross wrongs have been done
      • woodart 2.4.1

        thats all good in an ideal world mr bastard, but if rugby teaches us anything, play whats in front of you, not what looks good on a whiteboard. live in the now..

        • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1.1

          But even rugby plans the game before it gets on the field.

          Here's the thing: We need to plan what changes we want and then act to get them.

          Each act may be different from what the plan was and thus needing a change in plan at that time.

          We also need to cooperate fully in making the plan so that everyone knows the overall objective and their own necessary objective so that each can make effective changes to the plan on the fly and thus make getting to the overall objective that much more likely.

          Just saying but, but, idealism, is just that old saying coming to life:

          Perfection is the enemy of good enough.

    • pdm 2.5

      ` without him, jacinda wouldnt have been P.M…'

      He therefore has a lot to answer for.

  3. Incognito 3

    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking today that the Defence Force should have been leading border protection efforts from the start.

    https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast/audio/winston-peters-breaks-ranks-with-pm-over-border-protection-efforts/

    I’m confused …

  4. Roy Cartland 4

    He was also wickedly hungover: sweating, bleary-eyed and stuttery (yes, takes one to know one). The guy seems to have finally lost it. It was abject, embarrassing.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Never say never with Winston till the votes are counted…

    It could have been a case of “parting is such sweet sorrow…” if Mr Peters gave one about leaving a worthy political legacy involving redemption, rather than rancorous opportunism and score settling.

    In the end his brittle ego could not handle deserting his old buddies like Racing and the Talleys to support even mildly transformational Govt. policies.

  6. Sabine 6

    What will Labour do if it needs NZFirst? Oh never mind.

  7. observer 7

    A related question to consider is how much of the vote would be wasted, mostly on the conservative/conspiracy parties.

    Possible numbers: NZF 3%, JLR's mob 1%, New Cons 1%, Vision (= Destiny) 1%, assorted others 2% (TOP etc) Then add the Maori party if they don't win an electorate.

    I'm very confident the Greens will get over 5%, but worst case scenario … those who worry that 4.9% wasted = a Nat/ACT majority really shouldn't be too alarmed. Labour at 44/45 would govern alone. (Not a good outcome for a representative parliament, but the public disquiet would probably force a change to thresholds, and National could not keep rejecting that).

    • mosa 7.1

      " Possible numbers: NZF 3%, JLR's mob 1%, New Cons 1%, Vision (= Destiny) 1%, assorted others 2% (TOP etc) Then add the Maori party if they don't win an electorate.

      Well if they were merged into one entity that's around 8% just to make things interesting.

    • Stuart Munro 7.2

      The problem with losing the Greens, besides their substantial policy input, is that Labour would likely struggle in the following election, and on current performance National will need ages to be ready to govern – geological ages frankly. The chances of a truly ruinous government in 2023 are significant, if the Greens don't make it through this time – and Labour may wobble if tasked to fill all the ministerial roles itself, particularly if there are further crisies. A nation of sheep led by goats and monkeys is unlikely to prosper.

  8. Ad 8

    NZF are this government's tethered goat.

    All blame falls on them no matter what the failure. Ritual sacrifice ensues.

    So they'd have their uses in a future government.

  9. AB 9

    Leaving aside personalities – does NZF bring any positive elements of ideology? Maybe a sense of the nation as an economic unit, rather than a collection of individuals at the mercy of global capital. A sense that the regions and the people who live there are important. A distrust of big business, though also a dislike of too much government intrusion into daily life. A sense that Jack is a good as his master in some elemental, old-fashioned way – despite his master having two houses, a boat and a flash car. and Jack not having those things.

    There is some useful stuff in there that we should be careful about chucking out with the bathwater. 40 years ago you might have found people who believed these things inside the Labour Party. If we are happy to see NZF gone because of unpleasant, authoritarian and pompous personalities like Peters, Jones and Mark, is Labour up to the job of pulling in and holding the more 'evolved' among their supporters?

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Their reflexive anti Green response to any policy proposal is stopping the country from very important change.

    Preventing progress is pretty much the whole purpose of conservative parties. They're comfortable with things the way they are and changing things makes them uncomfortable. Even their support of regional development is based upon things not changing and so we see poor investment that won't actually develop the regions but leave them the same but, maybe, slightly bigger.

    As a side note, that twitter pic may be the first time I've seen Winston looking old.

  11. tc 11

    Albatross around the neck in the shape of shane jones ego doesn't help him but Winnie's only got himself to blame for that.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Shane Jones was the ordinary man's plain-speaking politician who understood them. That's the view that I saw amongst the working class men.

      • bwaghorn 11.1.1

        I'm a working class man and I think hes a in live with the sound of his own voice ,that said they are the only ones who give a shit about the provinces.

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    Interesting wrinkle: "In 2017 he refused to attend minor party leaders’ debates with his customary sneer that NZ First wasn’t a minor party. This year, according to TVNZ promotion, he’s taking to the podium with the Greens and Act."
    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/08-09-2020/winston-peters-is-against-the-ropes/

    I vote the Greens play their Maori card by putting up Marama for the thing! James has been hogging the headlines too long! 😎

  13. Byd0nz 13

    Winston for me…….No. along with any other creationist thinker.

  14. Ken 14

    I would quite like to see them back in Parliament but I'd also quite like to see them out of Government.

  15. mosa 15

    If they don't make it back will Jacinda offer Tracey Martin a job ?

    • pdm 15.1

      Yes well I suppose Tracey Martin carried Jacinda on the Child Poverty eradication thing – not very successfully though.

      A fail for both of them.

  16. karol121 16

    If only he could be a party in his own right.

    Say, the Winston Independent Peters Total Party, or WIPT Party for short.

    He could be rebuilt and instead of acting as the politician or statesman, he could perhaps become the body politic in metamorphosed human form.

    I’d still trust him enough to buy a used vehicle or a case of wine from him, but I wouldn’t be so careless as to try to trade him whiskey in the process.

  17. Treetop 17

    NZ First will be a casualty of Covid – 19.

  18. peter sim 18

    Northland has had a lot of problems. Maybe Shane and Winstone could fix them without screwing a coalition government.

    Peters is a destroyer.

    Jones is nothing but a loudmouth playground show off.

    Both of them have strong links to Northland.

    They could do a lot for that neglected area instead of attacking central government.

    National has treated Northland as a pakeha playground.

    Maybe Winstone should grow up.

    Shane is very, very immature

    .

  19. peter sim 19

    NZ 1st looks back to pre Roger Douglas days (don't we all?)

  20. Maurice 20

    Winston lost close to half his voting base when the "gun lobby" shunned him.

    The gain was largely ACT's and New Conservatives one of them will be in Parliament next time a round because of this – which was seen as a betrayal of previously solid supporters.

    Will that lesson be learnt?

  21. The Podcrastinators 21

    NZ First play a useful role in parliament as a conservative / populist voice with some decent collectively minded people like Tracy.

    They don't play such a useful role in a progressive government.

    It would be great to see a Labour / Green government with the opposition divided between Nats / ACT / NZF

    • weka 21.1

      This would be my preference too, although I'll be glad when Peters is off the political scene. As entertaining as he can be sometimes, and despite the good things he has done, he's had an overall harmful effect on MMP. I hope the NZF bring Martin to the fore, but not holding my hopes up.

  22. DS 22

    As usual there is a fair bit of misunderstanding about who actually votes for New Zealand First. New Zealand First voters are provincial, poor, and disproportionately Maori and Pacific Islanders. They don't compete with ACT (urban, wealthy, Auckland) or the New Conservatives (wealthy godbotherers) – which makes sense, given that New Zealand First is the party who wars against 1984, whereas ACT is the party that wants to restart 1984. The people who voted New Zealand First in 2017 have gone Labour, not National.

    I'd also point out that the Nats (and their media allies) are hell-bent on killing off Winston. Why do people think that is?

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