Alex Hickey


Winston Peters has revealed he’s applying lessons learnt as a teenage lothario in his latest dealings with the media.

New Zealand’s new Deputy Prime Minister has wasted no time in taking aim at the media just days into the job, accusing them of taking bribes and claiming he’s “at war” with them.

Peters has long had a reputation for clashing with media, and in an exclusive interview with The Whakataki Times, he has revealed it’s a strategic approach inspired by his early love life.

“Everybody knows that if you want someone to like you, be a little bit nasty to them. Give them the attention they want, but throw in a few digs here and there.

“Sure, they might get a little bit upset, but they’ll keep coming back for more and they’ll end up loving you. It worked with Lana Ferguson back in third form and it’s working again now.”

Peters’ sense of how well the strategy is working is backed up by analysis of recent reporting. New insights reveal he has had more than five times the mainstream news coverage as fellow coalition party leader David Seymour since the government was officially formed last week.

“David’s a suck up,” Peters says, taking a deep drag on a Winfield Red. “The media have the choice to talk to him or talk to me, and they’re coming back to me again and again. They might as well start calling me Daddy.” 

One News political reporter Kahu Symonds admits he feels like a love interest being toyed with.

“He’ll say something mean one day and we need to come back and ask him about it the next day. So he says something mean again. It’s a vicious cycle.”

More to come. 

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