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Will Winston be back in 2011?

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, April 10th, 2010 - 100 comments
Categories: election 2011, Parliament, Politics - Tags:

In politics nothing lasts forever. That is it seems, except the Rt Hon Winston Peters. The latest Roy Morgan poll has National (49%) and Labour (33%) down, with the Greens (7%) and NZ First (3%) on the rise.

This is the first time in more than a year that National has dipped below the 50% mark, and it seems the “mining effect” along with a series of Ministerial fiascos might actually be starting to take its toll on the government. Good show too – it’s the price you pay for talking about the destruction of New Zealand’s natural heritage. Long may the decline continue.

But take a look at the beneficiaries – NZ First and the Greens.

Now, let’s be clear. This is just one poll, and the shift so far is small. But there’s more to it than that.

Peters has been making small yet significant headlines lately (think Foreshore and Seabed, Whanau Ora), and apparently has been travelling around the regions drawing reasonably sized crowds. And as National continues to suffer mishap after mishap, maybe NZ First is a good bet for the disillusioned voters?

We shouldn’t necessarily expect that the voters leaving National will be drawn to Labour, since the 2008 election loss is still fresh in people’s minds. Maybe instead they’ll go for that suave smiling man who sounds like he knows what he’s talking about – Winston Peters (after all, it beats “smile and wave” Key).

Just to make it clear, in no way do I support NZ First’s stance on most issues – especially Maori and immigration. Yet you’ve got to wonder. Peters is good. Very good. It’s not far fetched to think he might pick up the extra 2% (on current polling) needed to get back into Parliament in 2011.

Rodney Hide’s worst nightmare may yet still come true.

100 comments on “Will Winston be back in 2011? ”

  1. rosy 1

    I have been a lifelong Labour voter but I will be voting New Zealand First next time. Winston is the only politician embracing any sort of nationalism. I believe New Zealand has gone so far down the globalisation path we are in danger of losing our sovereignty. Some rules need to be put in place to stop New Zealand being sold to people with the deepest pockets.

    • BLiP 1.1

      Having been fucked over by Labour in the 80’s then ignored in the 00’s and having been disenfranchised by the Greens with their MoU last time, I’m on the look out for a viable alternative to put a fox in the henhouse. Winston may well be my option as well. I’m not that happy about the nationalism ( after all, we are all Earthlings, really) but anything to make the major parties uncomfortable will do me at this stage.

  2. lprent 2

    Yeah I saw that trend in the Morgan poll as well. You saved me the trouble of writing a post. Winston is a political survivor.

    Must be galling for Rodney Hide and the other lynch mob participants.

    The drop in confidence in the government is the other interesting feature of that poll. If that persists into a trend, then it looks like the honeymoon is over amongst the public

    • Michael Foxglove 2.1

      It’ll be interesting to see the next few govt confidence ratings. I think the downward trajectory is mining + ministerial mishaps… and as long as both continue it’ll really start to hurt Key.

      You’re right about the lynch mob alright. I am still appalled thinking about the way the media were acting like an Act Party PR machine on Peters last election.

      Peters’ return might mean just desserts for Rodney.

      • Zorr 2.1.1

        Also remember ECan and Supershitty – I am from Christchurch and everyone (regardless of political stripe) I have discussed it with have thought it one of the stupidest, most arrogant and undemocratic moves they have seen. When it comes to the general election, that is really going to come home to roost on National down here.

  3. Descendant Of Smith 3

    Winston is a survivor and I for one like having him around in politics.

    I certainly don’t agree with many of his views but he is a good foil against the rampant corporates and he has an uncanny knack of finding out some good bits of information.

    He is persistent and that counts for a lot.

    To some extent in my head he rides on the wine-box inquiry but I for one will always be grateful for that, the exposing of corporate greed to the general public and the tax garnered back as a result. Those were not small sums.

    Many people I knew at the time saw the companies involved as the good New Zealand citizens who were working hard to make NZ prosper. They were genuinely shocked that these businessmen would rip the country off in this way.

    MMP should allow a diversity of views in the political system and I’m as happy to have him there as I am Rodney or the Greens or The Maori party – or even dare I say it The National Party..

  4. While Winston will always have a core support of 2-3%, his biggest problem will be convincing the next 2% that their vote won’t be wasted.

    My pick is a run at the Ak election, though not the top job. Endorse Brown for mayor, stand for councillor and hope to get reciprocal support from Labour voters. Use that campaign as the starting point for a national comeback and if he should get elected to council, use that platform as a publicity tool for 18 months (or how ever long we have before Key panics and does a Muldoon).

    • Michael Foxglove 4.1

      Though in the 90s he did get up past the 20% mark. I think you’re right that it’s been difficult for him to get to 5%. But if the conditions are right….

  5. Salsy 5

    I read a Winston Peters speech recently, it was actually very powerful. Titled “A Trip to the Third World – Watch Your Wallet” , Peters points out “God’s Own” is in a spot of trouble and nobody appears to be doing anything constructive about it”.

    There are a couple of things he does vey well. He comes across as a true blooded New Zealander, references iconic historic Kiwis – John Seddon, and NZ history – very, very UnKey. He addresses democracy, mining, foreign ownership, taxation – all simplified into good versus evil – he leaves no grey areas. These isues are argued on their own i.e “No country has ever prospered when its resources have been controlled and exploited from abroad.”, but all serve to support his main somewhat terrifying message: NZ is becoming a 3rd world nation – be very afraid…


    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      NZ is becoming a third world nation. The only people who prosper under the capitalist “free-market” system happen to be the capitalists which make up less than 1% of the population.

      Wages are lower in Asia so manufacturing goes over there (think F&P) which directly impacts wages here. This decreases our own manufacturing capability decreasing our export of value added products. Foreign ownership then siphons off most of the profit so that we can’t invest in needed infrastructure, education and research etc. Net effect is that the country becomes poorer and less capable of sustaining itself.

      • Rob 5.1.1

        Yes we are all aware of what is happening, most of us are actually working in it and are affected by cheaper asian sourcing on a daily basis. So what is your solution?

  6. Olwyn 6

    Something that has to be said for Winston; he retains a notion of a conservative ideal that is not reduced to brute dominance and rapaciousness. The fact that he no longer counts as right wing says something about how far the other two parties of the right have slipped in the latter direction.

  7. He deserves to be out for the mo, however, we need that mongrel voice from across the floor that Rodders used to be. Between Mallard and Uncle Winny i doubt Nact would have it so easy.

    I reckon if he does his penance and keeps the bastards honest from the sidelines, I’d be glad to see him back in opposition against National, but not ever in gov’t again. For that to happen, NZ first would need fresh young blood especially in strategising/appealing to the youngers and Labour would have to lose 2011.

    Of course I can see Key palling up to him with an offer of shiny baubles and trinkets to which Winny does have a penchant for.

  8. I dreamed a dream 8

    I have never been a great fan of Winston, but the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Go Winston go get them. Come back soon Winston!

    • Daveosaurus 8.1

      “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”

      That’s the sort of logic that had America under Ronald Reagan propping up Saddam Hussein and the Taliban. Didn’t work out so well for them, did it?

  9. IrishBill 9

    I don’t think Winnie would ever go with Key. It was Key’s crew that provided Rodney with the ammunition for his campaign against Winnie in the first place. As much as I dislike most of his politics I would be very pleased to see him back in the house with parliamentary privilege making Key and Hide squirm.

  10. Sanctuary 10

    Winston Peter’s is a charlatan and a fraud, but his persistant appeal shows there is a huge constituency that is completed ignored and ridiculed by our media and ruling elites – namely a nascent working class nationalism that is bubbling away underneath the surface in this country, just waiting for the right combination of leadership and political skill to harness it.

  11. Salsy 11

    The poll shows National are starting to lose support (hopefully this is a trend) but the most significant issue here is Labours polling. They havent picked up any of these votes, in fact they’ve lost ground too 33%, down 0.5% , the same drop as Act, despite infighting, instability and the supercity. As pointed out elsewhere the major parties are still diverging when they should be converging. So essentially, is this not telling us something is very wrong? Are we now going to see a great voting wilderness with support falling for both major parties, trickling instead to a multitude of minorites? Holy crap we may get a green-led goverment after all!

    • My impression is that with MMP a straight transfer from National to Labour is not likely because this is an admission of a mistake. It is more likely that a voter will move around the fringes first, NZFirst is probably a beneficiary of this effect. In any event the overall trend is in the right direction. National has shed 3.5% in a month.

      National is going down …

  12. ianmac 12

    Never a NZF voter but under MMP we need minor parties at all corners of the spectrum. Its a pity that the threshold is and will be 5%. The ridiculous state at the moment is that of Act at 2% with huge power while a party with more support 3% is out in the cold. Winston adds a bit of colour too in a bleak grey play it safe MP world.

  13. Sanctuary 13

    Salsy, would a Labour-Progressive government backed by the Green’s & NZ First on supply and confidence (say 44+1, backed by 11+6 for supply and confidence) be all that bad? Especially if it meant the final destruction of ACT & seeing the back of do-nothing Dunne?

    I suppose we would have to put up with three years of the National Party (with say 52 seats) doing a teabagger and crying that as the largest party they should be the government, but apart from that the significant influence a strong Green minority could have might be good ginger up for a party that is long on competent centrist mangerialism but short on courageous ideas just now.

  14. YuppleyT 14

    There’s no reason Winston and NZ First couldn’t make a comeback.

    They got more votes than Act at the last election, and it’s only a strange quirk of MMP that Act are in Parliament and in Government no less, while NZ First is out.

    They were sabotaged at the last election to make sure there was no way Labour could form a Government again, but now that National and Act have other fish to fry they could sneak back in.

    [lprent: Removed the e-mail in the name. ]

  15. gobsmacked 15

    I certainly hope Peters doesn’t get back in. He has a record of nasty itch-scratching (targeting Asians, Muslims, refugees, Maori, etc), and the country is better off without him.

    As for his chances … well, paradoxically, he could benefit from National remaining well ahead in the polls. If the next election is seen as a foregone conclusion, we could get the “2002 effect” again. Voters didn’t need to vote for Clark (already annointed by the polls/media as the winner), and didn’t want to vote for English. So they could play with their vote: enter the worm, and Peter Dunne.

    If grumpy conservatives have no fear of a Labour/Green gov’t, they won’t need to vote for Key just to keep out the lefty bogeyman. They can “send National a message”, that they prefer Winston to the ‘rascist separtist aparthide’* Maori Party.

    National’s nightmare: strolling to victory, and then … a low turnout, ‘soft’ voters deserting them, and a grinning Winston!

    *please note quotation marks before thumping your keyboard in reply

    • Ace 15.1

      You need to be an intelligent person to understand what Winston Peters stands for. Take the time to read and understand his policy on immigrants, so that you can be better informed. I am an immigrant to this country, and I totally agree with Winston Peters and his New Zealand First Party policies in this area. Asians, Muslims, Refugees and all those ethnic people that you have mentioned need to stop looking for hand-outs. If New Zealand was good enough for them to be a place to live, then what Winston Peters is saying is that you be prepared to contribute and be part of the wider New Zealand society. Don’t come looking for special treatments or hand-outs. Everyone must try and be independent rather than becoming a burden to the tax payers by depending on benefits and tax payers to pay for your living.
      The Amaddiya Muslim group does not have this view in my recent experience with these people, and that is the the right attitude. I also want our Pacific peoples to do the same, and stop relying on tax payers to pay for them to stay on the beneficiary line.
      I have done some research into Tariana Turia’s Maori background, and interesting enough, Winston Peters has more Maori pride and probably Maori blood in him that Tarian Turia. In other words, Winston Peters and his New Zealand First Party have more genuine interest in the Maori people’s future, than the current Maori Party. The Pacific people are starting to see how the Maori Party uses them when it suits their agenda as well. Whanau Ora is a race based initiative that will never address the health needs of Maori whanau.

  16. Just what we need. A racist, corrupt blowhard. You lot would support Graham Capil if you thought it would help get labour back in.

    [lprent: Talking about yourself? Sounds like it..
    I thought there was a name for the condition where you talk about yourself in the third person. ]

    • Rex Widerstrom 16.1

      Sorry, but I’m with Barnsley Bill on this one LP.

      I’m disgusted at the Labourites positively drooling over Winston on this thread for no other reason than it would help Labour get back into power, all prefaced with “Well, I don’t agree with most of what he says, but…”

      So where is the line of morality which you (all of you) would not cross just to see Labour back on the Treasury benches? Is it just proven illegality, like Capill? Or can we assume there might be a few things on the other side of that line you’d find abhorrent.

      Because clearly, things like supporting Michael Laws’ racist views, corrupting the democratic list ranking process (and thus the election), negotiating to swap diplomatic appointments in return for “donations”, setting up trusts to hide those and other donations (a hangable offence when National does it, however) and a myriad of others I could list aren’t enough for you.

      And most importantly, the rank hyprocrisy of painting his party as the only honest dealer in town and castigating everyone else (including Labour) whilst undertaking all of the above.

      If he – and especially if any of his lieutenants like Ron Mark – stick their heads above the parapet in 2011 I’ll be doing all I can as part of the “lynch mob” – a.k.a. the people who (in the main) think there is a line in politics, and NZ First crossed it. And I’ll be there not just with Rodney Hide, who’s clearly acting out of self-interest, but the likes of Phil Kitchin and others who’ve had to brave the kind of low counter-attack in which Winston seems to specialise these days.

      • gobsmacked 16.1.1

        Speaking only for myself, Rex, I can only repeat what I said above, which was pretty damn clear, I reckon. No Winston, no thanks.

        To put it in the starkest terms, if faced with a horrible devil-versus-deep-blue-sea nightmare: I’d rather have Key plus Maori Party than Winston (though if it comes down to Key plus ACT, I’d rather just leave the room screaming …).

        It’s not just about the numbers in 2011. It’s about standing for something you believe in, and building for the future. Labour and the Greens can do that. A Maori party (in a different guise, maybe post-Turia) can do that.

        Winston can’t. He would just have one more play in the sandpit. He’s history, and for the good of the country AND the left, he should stay there.

        (The fact that many of Peters’ new enemies – former friends – on the right are themselves bigots and hypocrites, pandering to the same redneck base, does not make Winston any better. No, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend).

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Sorry gobsmacked, it was a “if the cap fits” comment and it clearly doesn’t fit you.

          Good on you for putting the good of the country ahead of what might be the good of the Labour Party. It’s people like you that help me retain a thin thread of faith in the capacity of politics to still do good.

          If people on the left think it would be handy to have a centrist party espousing the kind of principles on which NZ First was formed, then kick one off. And sign me up.

          But don’t let your desire for power outweigh your conscience, because after last time no one is going to believe you don’t realise who and what it is you’re crawling into bed with if you have a hand in reinvigorating NZ First.

      • lprent 16.1.2

        I don’t like NZ First or Winston either… But that is irrelevant against the power of the myth that was generated in political terms.

        But the manner of how they were deliberately shafted out of parliament by the hypocritical lynchers has consequences. One of those is that they are almost certain to get back in. The tale of the perfidious chicanery of establishment suppressing the underdog fits exactly into the political ethos that Winston and NZ First operate in. It will have immense power as people get disillusioned with NACT (and the greens) – who were clearly complicit in fitting Winston up, while they also still don’t trust Labour.

        Politics frequently isn’t about reality, it is about perception and stories. I pointed all of this out at the time, that the methods used were the wrong ones if you wanted to get rid of the party. Intense persecution of the party is more likely to give Winston and NZ First the leverage they require to get to 5%, and I’m sure Winston will bait to ensure it happens.

        The lynchers handed one of the best possible political themes possible to Winston on a golden platter…. It is what happens when short-term thinkers take short-term actions without looking at the longer term consequences. Frankly it was an exercise in monumental political stupidity. If they hadn’t done it then NZ First would be spiraling towards obscurity. As it is, I suspect that they will have a pretty strong resurgence. Which is repugnant but rather inevitable.

        Live with it.

        • gingercrush

          I think you’re living in delusions to be honest. No what Labour did and Labour and its supporters appear to be doing again now is defending the guy and making excuses for what he did. As you lot continually attack Tariana and the Maori Party for selling out. New Zealand First did far worse and unlike the Maori Party. They’ve done it every time they’ve been in government. Neither National or Labour looked good with their deals with New Zealand First New Zealand First did considerable political damage in 1996 and 2008.

          What will happen if Labour open their hands to New Zealand First? It’ll make them look desperate and more importantly it’ll turn off voters especially if New Zealand First goes down the anti-immigration route again. The fact you say people will be disillusioned in the Greens and National setting him up. Well Peters set himself up. All parties agreed with that including close Labour ally Jim Anderton. And frankly, people were disillusioned with Labour and their constant defending of his actions.

          But I hope Labour do court New Zealand First. It’ll prove so politically problematic they’ll do worse than going alone and/or forging a proper relationship with the Greens. New Zealand First won’t get into parliament. You’d be a fool to say they will. They’ve done too much damage and while many New Zealander voters have short-term memories. They don’t in this instance.


          Also if for the off-chance and I give it less than 1% and NZ First somehow got back in and formed a coalition with Labour. In my opinion it’d set Labour back 10 years.

          • lprent

            So in effect what you’re saying is that if NZ First hits the threshold or gains a seat, that the voters they are representing should be ignored….

            Yeah right. That isn’t how politics operates in an MMP environment. You’re sounding pretty naive.

            I’m sure that National would prefer that NZ First did disappear because they’ve certainly made sure that the NZ First voters and politicians aren’t going to favor working with them.

            Looking at political realities has very little to do with ‘supporting’ NZ First. I’m just pissed off that National were stupid enough to think so short-term and ensure that NZ First gets another chance…

            • gingercrush

              So in effect what you’re saying is that if NZ First hits the threshold or gains a seat, that the voters they are representing should be ignored .

              Yeah right. That isn’t how politics operates in an MMP environment. You’re sounding pretty naive.

              No but Labour shouldn’t be encouraging/endorsing them and neither should their supporters. Because if in the likelihood they New Zealand First made it into parliament and made a deal with either Labour or National (and unlike you I think NZ First would go with anyone tbh) it would be the undoing of that party in government. It would do long and considerable damage. Basically its stupid politics. It gives you power for 3 years whilst doing long-term damage to your party in the long term.

              Also you’re not looking at political realities because New Zealand First isn’t coming back. National were sensible to ditch them. Labour were desperate in keeping them undoubtedly doing further damage to a party that since the 2005 election looked certain to lose in 2008.

              Your talking about political realities is just myth-making. Its fantasy bullshit that surely for someone who runs numbers for Labour. Its laughable you’re even bringing such shit up.

        • Bored

          Iprent, dont know why you see Winston and NZ First as repugnant…..whilst I would never vote their way I see them more as a generational echo of Robs Mob, and Winston the person who speaks the language that their generation understands. The world and NZ may have moved on but these people are still alive, but their ethics have as much a place in todays world as they did in the Muldoon years.

          For example commitment to principle: Winston represented at a great personal and eventually political cost the principles of honesty and accountability during his “WineBox” case. Would todays generation have so vociferously supported this commitment? If we forget that this grey generation still have some commitment to NZ the way they want it we may end up with them supporting Key. A choice between the greater of two evils? I think not.

          • lprent

            As you say, the residual Robs mob who I’ve been arguing against for my entire adult life. You get the impression that they’re still resisting Britain going into the EEC.

            • Bored

              Agree, I too have objected to Robs Mob my entire life…..but I object even more to the me first generations we bred under the Douglas / Richardson regimes. Seems we go from one bunch of crap heads to another, great to see them fighting each other though.

      • BLiP 16.1.3

        What’s moral about Labour? Winston is just doing what Labour/National/Act does, only ineptly. There is something inherently anarchic about Winston that really appeals to me. Bring it on.

      • Rob 16.1.4

        Good on you Rex

    • just saying 16.2

      You raise an interesting point. Exactly what is Labours “bottom line” regarding winning the next election – what principles would never be sacrificed no matter how big a vote-boost doing so would afford them?
      Maybe, seeing as they have continued to poll so badly, it’s time for labour to take the plunge. Dump the old guard promote some of the brighter, younger talent, have a really big rethink, and present some bold ideas for making major left-wing change. Start being open and honest with the public about what it believes in, and doesn’t believe in, and why. Lead from the front. Present ideals and a vision of a fairer society and prove to the public that it can be done without bankrupting the country.
      And I think this kind of approach is more likely to win back working-class social conservatives. Most of them are pretty decent at heart and would put up with us hippy tree-huggers, pooftas, Winz-bludgers, Marrrees, feminazis, and schoolteachers, if they really believed Labour would and could deliver on a left wing economic vision.

      Maybe I’m in lala land. Maybe I need to be to not succumb to complete despair about what seems to me to be a more tory NZ with each year that passes

      • lprent 16.2.1

        Start being open and honest with the public about what it believes in, and doesn’t believe in, and why.

        You mean like National did last election? Yeah right…

        Most of the time bombarding the electorate with explicit policy is counter-productive. What is required are usually clear but ambiguous messages (despite the conflict) that show a clear direction whilst leaving a lot of political wiggle room. That appears to be what the electorate as a whole wants.

        If you want clear policy, then the best thing to do is join the party and get involved in helping to make more detailed policy…

        Maybe I need to be to not succumb to complete despair about what seems to me to be a more tory NZ with each year that passes

        Otherwise known as the graying of the population.

      • Rex Widerstrom 16.2.2

        Exactly what is Labours “bottom line’ regarding winning the next election what principles would never be sacrificed no matter how big a vote-boost doing so would afford them?

        We’re getting no straight answers, are we just saying? Just a lot of waffle about how nasty Wodney was mean to poor Winston and how, if the two faced charlatan makes it over 5%, well that’s MMP (indeed it is, which is one reason we should dump it, but that’s another story).

        Even slippery John Key borrowed a pair of testicles, took a deep breath and said NZF was too repugnant to work with (whether he did it for principle or expedience doesn’t matter, he still did it).

        Whether Winston makes it over 5% will have a lot to do with whether he receives a perceived endorsement from Labour. Indeed NZF was the natural home for socially conservative Labourites, which is why the 29% poll rating in 1995 came at the expense of Labour (which was relegated to a distant third) and not National.

        So it’s worth asking again… what is Labour’s bottom line on a party that has shamelessly promoted racism, admitted to flouting the democratic process, been found to be up to its neck in dubious funding sources etc etc?

        You lie down with dogs, you get fleas.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            I got out before Laws brought the infestation with him, TVoR.

            When I was there it rated almost 30%. By election 1996 Laws had it down to 13%. By the time they woke up and got rid of him it was at 3% and has been there ever since.

            So I’d suggest a fair slab of the voting public shared my view that it had a shiny coat and a wet nose pre-95, but now it’s rabid old mongrel that needs to be put down, not given a shampoo and run as a thoroughbred.

            • The Voice of Reason

              Fair enough, Rex. I wouldn’t blame Lhaws on anyone but his poisonous self. I would suggest though that pre-ML, NZF still wasn’t something I’d want on my CV. For all that, MMP means deals have to struck, compromises made and Winston just may pick up enough disaffected Nat voters to give Labour a sniff at government with him on board.

              Would that be a bad thing in itself? Depends on what the deal is, I guess. And a workable Labour led coalition with NZF probably depends more on whether Winston and the Greens could sit at the same table than any other factor, IMHO.

        • BLiP

          Even slippery John Key borrowed a pair of testicles, took a deep breath and said NZF was too repugnant to work with (whether he did it for principle or expedience doesn’t matter, he still did it).

          Nah. No way did Key grow balls. He just used the Crosby/Textor surveys to make a stand. Key is far worse than Winston would ever be.

        • lprent

          IMO: All parties try to maximize their vote. Then they look after the election to figure out how to put a governing coalition together. I suspect that if NZF gets a significant numbers of seats and is required to support a government then politicians from both major parties would hold their nose rather than go back to the electorate. Afterall the electorate has already spoken.

          In 2008, National were in a fortunate position that they thought they could avoid having anything to do with Winston. If he is commanding significant voter support coming up to the next election, and with a high probability of Act going the way of the dinos, that a pre-election commitment will not be forthcoming from them in 2011.

          • the sprout

            If Winston had won Tauranga, or got another 0.7% of the Party Vote (ie. took 0.35% of both National and Labour’s Party Votes), then by the St Lague formula:

            Labour, Green, Maori, NZF, Prog = 61 seats

            National, ACT, UF = 61 seats

            That would have required the Maori Party to actively allow a National led government, which I suspect their constituency wouldn’t have allowed. Alternatively, we would have had another term with Clark still as PM.

            Targeting Peters and NZF was a very conscious, concerted and effective strategy for NACT. Had they not done so they would still be in Opposition. Bringing Peters back would not only cause NACT huge problems in the House, but it could lose them the Treasury benches.

  17. the sprout 17

    I really, really hope Winston stands in Epsom.
    That would give him media exposure, and an opponent, to die for.
    Fingers crossed 😆

  18. burt 18

    Winston, Labour, Progressives & the Green’s for govt 2011. The racing industry needs another tax cut and Winston will look so distinguished stepping from the Vela family helicopter on the campaign trail. Go for baubles guys !

  19. IrishBill 19

    It’s called political analysis BB. But if you want to play the racist card like some kind of whining PC wimp you’re welcome to do so. Although for a true measure of racism I’d say your mates over at no minister would be a good example.

    Especially the one that seems to have named himself after Hitler and specialises in “stupid hori” posts.

  20. gnomic 20

    Ah Winston, the man with more lives than a cat. I’ve said he must be finished this time too many times, to say it again. You’d definitely have to hammer the stake through his heart with your own hands (so to speak) to be sure. What’s his stock in trade? He’s a likable rogue, bit of a confidence man, carries it all off with the aid of charisma and personal charm. He’s a raconteur with a store of anecdote, and some degree of intellect behind the bluster. Perhaps his real secret is being an individual running on gut instinct rather than one of the automatons prevalent in the larger parties.

    Politically he picks up the floaters who can’t bring themselves to vote for the socialists or the eco-people, but are disenchanted with the nastier aspects of National and the right wing in politics. His main agenda is being in the spotlight and exercising some political influence; his problem is not being able to work within a party machine unless he dominates it. It seems unlikely he would be able to work alongside National, both for reasons of personal animosity and such ideology as he possesses, given that he is primarily a populist.

    For the left he could be a useful ally under MMP, at least on an enemy’s enemy basis. He may well be able to scrape together the 5% in 2011, it shouldn’t be forgotten that he came close at the last election, amazingly so in view of the concerted campaign to destroy him. NZ First is just a vehicle, it seems pretty clear it would not exist without Winston or only as a ghostly shell like the remnants of the Alliance (there is still an Alliance out there somewhere?).

    Love him or hate him, he may well still have a significant role to play in NZ politics.

  21. burt 21

    I hope Winston gets into his favorite position as king maker in an election pre the Rugby World Cup. It would be fantastic to have Winston appointed as Minister of Sport (and Racing) when the World Cup is underway.

    • lprent 21.1

      Seems unlikely unless there is an early election (or by-election that Winston wins).

      From memory the latest date for the next election is in November 2011 – just after the world cup.

      • Jenny 21.1.1

        Interesting point Lynn. The Rugby World Cup finish date is also the date that the Terror Raid Trials have been scheduled to finish on as well.

        Forget scapegoating immigrants, this case alone could give Peters all the alarming Maori bashing, tub thumping, alarmist newspaper headlines, this rank opportunist could wish for.

        I have said before, that the Terror Raids trial will be used by the right to skew the election, using extremist scare mongering and by stirring up xenophobia.

        If the Labour Party go quiet over this, in the hope of getting a coalition partner to help return them to the treasury benches, this country will be a worse place for it.

        If Labour don’t oppose this whole trajectory, Labour may end up having to compete with National over who can satisfy New Zealand First demands.

        Because catering to nationalism, racism and right wing saber ratteling requires you making demands in line with the rhetoric or risk appearing as a complete rank opportunist.

        What could these demands be?

        Well for a start you can bet New Zealand First’s pet bugbear, racist type limits on immigration will be on the list of demands. (Probably in line with Peters traditional line in Asian bashing.)

        More and greater surveilance and snooping powers for the police and Security Services. (to catch those supposed terrorists in our midst.)

        Tightened limits on lawful dissent, and protest particularly against unpopular government policies.

        Tightening the laws on the right to free speech and reporting particularly over the internet, expect this to couched in the cover language of cracking down on child pornography

        Increased involvement in the war in Afghanistan (and Iraq) and support for any future US attack on Iran.

      • Jenny 21.1.2

        Interesting point Lynn. The Rugby World Cup finish date is also the date that the Terror Raid Trials have been scheduled to finish on as well. (Though possibly, this trial could continue through into election period.)

        Forget scapegoating immigrants, this case alone could give Peters all the alarming Maori bashing, patriotic tub thumping, nationalistic sabre rattling and blaring newspaper headlines, this rank opportunist could wish for.

        The Terror Raids trial was always going to be used by the right to skew this election. And with a history of scare mongering and stirring up xenophobia, Peters will be just the man to do it.

        If the Labour Party go quiet over this, in the hope of getting a coalition partner to help return them to the treasury benches, this country will be a worse place for it.

        • Jenny

          It seems an unlikely coincidence.

          That there is almost an exact twinning of the prosecution of the “Tuhoe Terror-raid Trials” with the Rugby world cup, both finishing simultaneously, and both shoe horned into ending at the proposed launch time of the 2011 general elections, can hardly be a coincidence.


          Could there possibly be any more inauspicious a clash of timing for these three events?

          It seems weird to me, that years have passed since these charges were brought, and over this whole period the worst possible time that these hearings could possibly be held in four years, is the time that has been chosen.

          Could it be, that the choice of date for this trial is politically motivated and deliberate?

          Possible motives for choosing this clash of dates

          The date for Tuhoe Terror-raid Trials may have been chosen to be heard at this time when all the media’s concentration will be on the Rugby World Cup. This diversion of media attention would serve to protect those responsible for this debacle from further embarrassment and public humiliation.

          Though less likely – It could suit the interests of New Zealand’s war on terror nutcases and spooks, embarrassed and humiliated by their mishandleing of Tuhoe, to contrive some sort of “fundraiser” emergency during the Rugby World Cup to justify their existence.

          (Such things have occurred in other countries in the western hemisphere. And as a responsible democracy we should do everything possible to avoid providing such a tempting window for the possibility for such a thing to occur in this country)

          Another possibility is that the current Police Commissioner Howard Broad, arguably New Zealand’s most political Police Commissioner, wants to indulge the long standing personal grudge he has demonstrably been shown to hold, against protesters throughout his career, continued from his controversial role in the last racist rugby tour of this country.
          Broad could do this easily, taking advantage of extra-legal powers that it has been suggested will be granted to the police force for the duration of the period covering the RWC. (though the exact nature of these special powers have not been made public yet. They are more than likely to be about extra powers of arrest and dispersal of crowds.)
          Going on the past record, any special powers will be, with the tacit support of the Commissioner, used by the police against any gathering of supporters of those charged in the Terror Raids, rather than against any hypothetical terrorist threat to do with the RWC.

          It is possible that the special powers granted to the police for the RWC could see any public shows of support for the Terror Raid accused swept from the streets and people detained without charge. (Powers Broad could have only dreamed about in 1981)

          It would further suit Broad and the other more shadowy figures behind him, if they were able to, with the use of these RWC powers, incite some sort of public incident during the World Cup, in an effort to make themselves look good in the eyes of the public in an attempt to lift some of the odium from the prosecution and smear the defence.

          Any such incident (if it could be provoked) would not only be used to condemn Tuhoe in the public eye but could also be used by political opportunists in the following national elections to garner support for a more conservative right leaning government. (not mentioning anyone by name Winnie)

          Whatever the reason for the unusual clash of dates for this trial, ie special police powers, diversion of media attention, and finally the possibility of some sort of contrived (or real) security scare during the RWC, the defence could be put at a serious disadvantage, from anyone of these.

          Also the possibility that the following election could also be unfairly swayed by such tactics as well.

          The left need to think about objecting as strongly as possible against this worst possible choice of date for these hearings.

          The date should be brought forward to a more appropriate time, either later this year or earlier next year. (after all justice delayed is justice denied, and it will be almost four years since these charges were brought.)

          If this suggestion is vetoed by the prosecution and by the courts, then as a last resort, even though it means more delays, a stay should be sought until both the RWC and the elections are over.

          If there is no political agenda behind this clash in dates, then there should be no reason for the prosecution or the courts to object to moving the Terror-raid Trials to a more appropriate time, and less fraught and emotive time.

          If the prosecution still insist on these dates then they should be made to justify why on the public record.

        • lprent

          It may happen earlier if the big courtroom becomes available earlier for a long enough period. The judges comments were rather scathing about not having the capacity earlier.

          The whole ‘terror raids’ fiasco has such a pile of crap from start to finish, that it also wouldn’t surprise me if the police withdraw the majority of charges earlier. They’re going to have a hell of a time making most of the charges stick.

          The police really need to rein in some of their cowboy units. The pre-trial ‘evidence’ (which I can’t discuss) clearly shows how hopeless their ‘cases’ are going to be.

  22. Rhinocrates 22

    Regarding Labour’s “slippage”, 0.5% is well within the margin of error and is meaningless in itself except as part of a long-term trend… and the trend there is stagnation for the Goff-led Labour Party. It’s not a loss, considering that margin of error, but the fact that they have not yet managed to show a rising trend in support IS significant.

    Personally, and I’m admittedly blinded by prejudice or past experience, a Goff and King-led Labour Party will never get my vote because I remember all too well what those two jackasses did during the late eighties (and don’t get me started on Goff’s more recently demonstrated attitude to civil rights when he was the minister with the most impact in this area). Possibly a lot of other people remember too, or maybe they just don’t make an impression, being utterly, utterly banal Stepford politicians.

    I should be in Labour’s “target demographic” but they have disappointed me for a long time now and they need some new blood and some real inspiration to win me back. They may be holding Labour together and avoiding infighting (and that is a remarkable achievement in itself), but it’s clearly stagnant and bereft of ideas and alternatives. Yes, they’re winning tactical victories, thanks to Mallard and Jones in particular, but that in itself is deeply depressing, because it means that that is the only area where they can score. It smacks of pettiness. For the good of the party, Goff and King need to go. Soon.

    Cthulhu, I hate Peters and the brownshirted populism that he stands for, but if he’s what it takes, I may find myself eventually… straining… to make a justification involving ends and means…

    …er, no, I can’t, not even now.

    You have to consider his racism, or if he isn’t personally a racist, he’s someone with the behaviour of a sociopath who sees racism as a button that he can push for his gratification. Anti-globalisation may be a worthy cause, but is Peters’ form of opposition something that you really want to support on the principle that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”? You might find that your enemy’s enemy is also yours in the long run.

    Still, that last graph of the confidence in the government is heartening – it looks a lot like something that is now undergoing the first stages of a catastrophic collapse. Maybe that’s heartening.

    • ianmac 22.1

      Rhinocrates. Will you apply the same rigid yardstick to say Paula or Bill or Jerry? Bill was part of the team of Ruthanasia for instance so now…? Or just things from the 80s and skip the 90s.

      • Rhinocrates 22.1.1

        Let’s just say that I WANT to give Labour my party vote and wish that I had a decent reason to do so. Right now I don’t. Probably my vote will got to the Greens as it did in the last two general elections (but then there’s Sue Kedgley… groan…), though I did vote for Grant Robertson as my electorate MP in 2008.

        Of course Paula or Bill or Jerry are completely out of the question, like all of National, Act and United (snicker) Future (guffaw).

        I hate having to vote “least worst”. I, we, deserve better.

        • Rhinocrates

          Actually, as a corollary to that (apparent edit button snafu or just my slow dialup), I know that The Standard is not a monolith, and I’ve seen many criticisms of Labour here, but I do feel that this is a good forum for more and deeper criticism of Labour as it seems so keen to “reconnect” with its supposed constituency and maybe that can be pursued more vigorously with an ultimately constructive motivation in mind?

          Maybe I’ll eventually end up voting for the People’s Front of Judea…

        • gobsmacked

          Small consolation, Rhino – at least our voting system lets us choose “least worst” from a sizeable menu.

          I have friends in the UK who loathe Labour far more than NZ Labour is loathed here (by the left, I mean). Compare Brown/Blair, friends of Dubya, with Clark.

          Yet those friends will have to vote Labour next month. Poor bastards.

          • Rhinocrates

            Yep, poor bastards. In such a case, I’d vote Johnnie Walker, if I didn’t already. However, as it looks according to the polls, it might be a hung parliament with the Lib Dems as kingmakers… and Brown is wooing them with the promise of moves towards a form of PR, which would be good in the long run.

            (Oh, and my 2005 Green vote was in the hope of them being in included in coalition with Labour… hence, in part, my anger with Labour now)

          • gitmo


            [lprent: Sigh another IP range to add to the exclusion list. ]

        • QoT

          Fuck me, Rhinocrates, it’s like you’re living inside my brain.

    • Salsy 22.2

      @Rhinocrates “For the good of the party, Goff and King need to go. Soon.”

      I have to say i agree. Ive known for ever that Goff is not the man for the job, Mallard is great but not bring down the house speech great. Im a big fan of Shane Jones, powerful orator, mongrel instict. Its Peters wolf – without the Winston bits ( if you get me )

      @ Micky – I cant say I agree with you on voters not going back because they are “ashamed”. Voting is an extremely private affair with many spouses even keeping votes secret from each other. I say that they arent going back to Labour, because Labour offers them nothing new. Additionally, at this stage it really is up to labour to get out there and research and poll voters, and find out why and above all respond.

      • Rhinocrates 22.2.1

        Hi Salsy, well, I remember a piece by Edward Said years and years back as a part of his Reith Lectures series on the role of the intellectual entitled “Gods That Always Fail”. He suggested that people – those who appoint themselves as social critics in particular – have to get used to the fact that their idols will always let them down if perfection is the sole criterion to measure their performance… but be that as it may, I’ll put Shane Jones on my “Probably not so bad and not merely least worst” list 🙂

        Johnnie Walker though, I have to say, is a thoroughly decent chap. Hic.

  23. ianmac 23

    While doing that quiz last election I entered all the opposites of what I believed in. My most preferred political party according to the quiz? NZF!! I had no idea Winston represented such conservative views.

  24. Cnr Joe 24

    in this case the enemy of my enemy is my enemies enemy
    really, people

  25. ianmac 25

    Reading about Democrat v Republican. Its a pity when an Opposition just says NO! to everything. Loss of credibility. Now Labour might be doing the same thing.
    But take a lesson from Matthew Hooten of all people. During his Monday discussion on Nine to Noon he can be quite agreeable and rational about ABC. Then he hits on one major Z item of support for Govt or criticism against Labour. Leaving a casual listener with the feeling that Matthew is a balanced reasonable fellow. Wot??!!

  26. I dreamed a dream 26

    Support for Labour seems to have steadied. 33% is actually quite good. Consider that Labour governed between 39-41%, we only need a 7% gain or so by Labour and that’s very achievable. The base is steady and sure now, and I think Labour can only go up.

    Consider also government parties total 55% vs 45% for opposition parties. The opposition parties just need 5% to level with the National’s side — that’s very achievable. Winston, if he comes back in with the threshold, will easily tip things nicely for Labour and partners.

    Things are looking much better nowadays. Bring on 2011.

    For sure, National won’t be cruising to victory anymore. It’ll be game on!

  27. tsmithfield 27

    Most of the changes we are talking about are within the margin of error as defined at the bottom of the page of the survey that the link points to. So, it is premature to make assumptions about changes on the basis of one survey. So, I wouldn’t get too excited about the prospect of Winston being back in power.

    • gingercrush 27.1

      No its not. If the left sees something to like a poll its a great poll. Any other time and they accuse it of being a rogue poll and that polls are utterly inaccurate.

    • I dreamed a dream 27.2

      I am not basing my assessment on just this poll. Based on a series of polls, I detect that there’s a softening of support for National. And I also detect that support for Labour seems to have been consolidating and tending upwards albeit slowly at this point. I have even taken moving averages of the data to confirm my observations. My evaluation of the data does tell me there is a trend developing — not good for National and mates, but good for Labour and associated parties.

      I for one have been very pessimistic for Labour to ever get back to power in 2011. But over the last couple of months, my observations have caused me to change from being pessimistic to being cautiously optimistic. Note that I am still cautious. But it’s the underlying trend that will ultimately tell me later whether I can throw caution to the wind.

      • tsmithfield 27.2.1

        On the basis of Curia’s average of all polls, I don’t know why you would think that Nationals support is softening.


        In fact, if I were Labour I would be very worried. National has just gone through its most difficult time and is even floating policies such as mining national parks, the seabed and foreshore etc that have the potential to impact negatively on their poll ratings. Labour has been giving it their best shot as well. Yet National have hardly moved in the polls.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox

          Just because you are going through a bad patch does not mean things are about to get better. In the current climate, its confidence in your economic cred that will determine your fate. Thats what sank Labour.

        • Draco T Bastard

          One and a half months ago isn’t today.

  28. iTampon 28

    Go Winston,You may make the maori party feel silly the way they are acting up too the Nats.Yes I agree that this one eyed government the way they are digging away at the pensioners purses is nothing more than killing off the elderly,who made something of NZ without all the foreigners that are running it now,and Key is right up there rear ends.and doing the same with the Maori and act party for want of power.

    [lprent: Don’t use your published name for advertising. I’ve amended it to something more appropriate to suit your intent. ]

  29. Anne 29

    @ the sprout.
    God I hope you’re right. I’ll attend every election campaign meeting in Epsom if Peters and Hide are slugging it out. 😀

    Reckon no other politician will get a look-in.

    • It might actually work. Winston is already experienced at winning three way races and Epsom clearly has a strong maverick vote. It would generate enough publicity to lift the party vote substantially and even if he doesn’t win the seat, maybe NZF could crack the five.

      What stood out for me in the Morgan poll was that Labour’s steady position translates to an end to the speculation about Goff’s leadership. Phil Goff is going to lead Labour into the next election. And he strikes me as somebody more attuned to Winnie’s world view than the previous management, aye?

      • Matthew Hooton 29.1.1

        You clearly do not live in Epsom. There is no mavarick vote. The electorate votes National or, in exceptional circumstances, the most right wing candidate. Thus, in 1987, Judith Tizard, standing for the Lange/Douglas Labour Government, nearly beat Doug Graham (and, had she succeeded, the treaty settlement process may never have started) and then, more recently, people have voted for Rodney Hide because National has said so. Winston Peters would have no chance in Epsom. He needs a find a provincial seat if he wants one.

        • Dead right I don’t live in Epsom, though I once squatted in a building on Remuera Rd if that counts.

          I consider an electorate voting against their preferred Government’s choice of candidate, in order to achieve an alternative political outcome, maverick behaviour. But perhaps there is a better word to describe it.

          As you note, Epsom voters have a history of rejecting National’s candidates in order to send a message to that party or in the case of Rodders, to effectively elect two MP’s.

          That says to me that the voters of Epsom are more than capable of taking a big picture view and tactically voting to achieve an outcome that isn’t exactly Nationals preferred result. If enough of them like Winston’s taxi driver style reactionary populism, why wouldn’t he do well there? As I said elsewhere, even if he doesn’t win, it would be such a fascinating contest that it would inevitably boost his party vote by virtue of the media coverage.

          You’re in a good position to know, Matthew, so tell us; are National going to try to win the seat or just stick with a no hoper? If it’s the no hoper option, that really helps Winston as he would be the real alternative to Hide and would get an instant credibility boost.

          • the sprout

            Indeed, Epsom voters would be some of the most tactical in the country because of their long history of doing so.

            Plenty of them would be having second thoughs about re-electing Hide thanks to the Supershity fiasco, and would see NZF as a preferable alternative voice than ACT in Parliament. And naturally, Winston would campaign on Keeping ‘Them’ Honest 😆

            Matthew’s desperation to scotch the idea just shows what a threat he could be in Epsom. Think of the national coverage it’d get him for the Party Vote, being nice and close to TVNZ and TV3 HQs.

            • Jim Nald

              Yup, up until recently me and my folks lived in Epsom

              For the past decade, we’ve observed some interesting demographic changes within it. And most of my neighbours had been musing about the potential to vote more tactically going back two and three elections ago (in fact, some of my neighbours said, in response to that time when Rodney had that billboard at the corner of Mt Eden/Boston Roads asking for the party vote, that they would tell him he should run for the electorate vote). Well, they got their wish in 2008. Of course, most of us then didn’t realise he was just Rortney under the skin

        • “and then, more recently, people have voted for Rodney Hide because National has said so”.

          Just re-read this line. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t National say at the time that Worth was a genuine candidate and they were fighting to win the seat? So when did National tell people to vote Act, Matthew? And did Worth know he was being shafted?

          • Matthew Hooton

            Didn’t National say at the time that Worth was a genuine candidate and they were fighting to win the seat? Yes – but the letter was not signed by Brash, who then didn’t endorse it, so the message was sent to the voters not to take it seriously.

            So when did National tell people to vote Act, Matthew? – Through that exercise and also informally through the community.

            And did Worth know he was being shafted? – Not sure, but his campaign team did

            • The Voice of Reason

              Sweet as, Matthew, that explains it nicely. I seem to recall Labour being far more explicit in the seat. In fact, if memory serves, they were telling their voters to party vote Labour and electorate vote Worth, just to try and see Rodders off. She’s a funny old game, politics.

              On a related matter, I don’t suppose there’s any chance you’ll tell us why Worth had to go?

  30. Anne 30

    Your comments at 8.02pm and 10.56pm were a fascinating read. You have raised some pertinent
    points that are of increasing concern and need more coverage. Any chance of a full blown post on these as a starting point?

    We know the MSM read The Standard on a regular basis.

    • Jenny 30.1

      Thank you Anne for your support.

      At your suggestion I will try and polish my ideas and do some further research, on some of the concerns I have raised.

      If you or others have any ideas or angles on these matters this would be good too.

      Cheers J.

  31. Peter Johns 31

    Was my last post too truthful for you to keep?

    [lprent: Don’t know who trashed it, but I found it distasteful. It assumed a awful lot about motivations that you can’t support, and in the absence of any proof on those motivations it was over the line. It can stay trashed. If I’d gotten to it first, I’d have been looking at banning you for being unable to support an assertion. ]

  32. prism 32

    dos Good points – I feel this way too about Winston Peters – the winebox enquiry netted a bunch of sharks not good enough for fish and chips. He is very annoying but amusing too, more than can be said for some of the Cold Lazarus heads we hear frequently.

  33. Alwyn 33

    The party with the most to worry about from the Poll numbers is in fact the Green Party.
    The Roy Morgan polls seem to credit them with much higher numbers than they actually get in the election.
    In 2005 the last two polls before the election gave them 7.5 % in each.
    The two polls immediately after the election gave them 9% and 7% respectively.
    The election result 5.3%
    In 2008 the polls just before the election were 11.5% and 10.0 %
    The two after the election were both 9.5%
    The election result was 6.72 %
    If they are only getting 7% in the Roy Morgan poll I don’t like their chances of getting back into Parliament.

    • Bright Red 33.1

      People have said that in the middle of every parliamentary term since 1999. You expect the minor parties to drop off a little in the polls mid term. They’ll be back, no worries.

  34. Ace 34

    My Irish friend attended a dinner with Winston Peters last Saturday 10th April which was held at Otahuhu. According to my him, the big hall was filled by well over 100 people who were well entertained by Peters speech, and answering questions from a diverse audience that included Asians, Pacific communities, Maori people and their Maori wardens, local supporters, the elderly of course and more importantly, a large group of youths and young people.
    Apparently, there seems to be a large group of young ones coming out in favour of Winston Peters.

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