OPINION

Over the years the National Party has maligned and denigrated Winston Peters, mostly because he was sitting opposite them and using his considerable skills in Parliament to white-ant them. Now they are starting to realise that doing a deal with Winston Peters is far more beneficial than not doing a deal with him. And Labour has discovered what National has felt for years, and it all happened on the first day of Parliament under the new Government.

Winston Peters is doing precisely what a lot of us voted for him to do: cause chaos and mayhem for the Labour Party:

Winston Peters makes his first speech as deputy prime minister: ‘If you are looking for trouble you have come to the right place’

Winston Peters has also come out swinging against the left and the media in his first speech as deputy prime minister, in what is called an address and reply, after the speech from the throne.

He said Labour leader Chris Hipkins had defended “stupid vanities” of the former government, and slammed its economic record.

“The IMF has us as 159 in the world just in front of Equatorial Guinea,” he said.

He went on to say it was a privilege to be in Parliament. 

“We are here to represent everybody as one people called New Zealand, regardless of our DNA, our background or creed.”

He then quoted Dame Whina Cooper, who said: “We signed the treaty so we could become one people”.

He then taunted the Green Party for failing to ever be in Cabinet, and said Te Pati Maori was also “heading straight to the bonfire” for “claiming to be what you’re not – the voice of Maori”.

“And certainly from someone who is so decolonised he wears a cowboy hat,” he said, a dig to party co-leader Rawiri Waititi.

Peters then railed against the media and claimed it “never printed a word” about two men were found not guilty of fraudulently depositing money into a New Zealand First Foundation account, in breach of the Electoral Act. (You can read Stuff’s coverage of the verdict here).

“We are going to go back to calling our country New Zealand. We are not going to have a French Polynesian name that is offensive to people in the South Island,” he added. 

He also said his party had done more for Maori than the Opposition parties, including creating Maori wardens, and funding for the Maori Women’s Welfare League. 

Stuff

Chris Hipkins and his pals in Labour have got a long three years ahead of them. Winston Peters knows where their bodies are buried and he has a team of gravediggers furiously digging those bodies up.

Winston Peters can also easily attack the excesses of Te Pati Maori, without ever being accused of racism because he’s Maori too.

Christopher Luxon can’t do that, and neither can David Seymour really. But Winston Peters can and will.

This is the beauty of the new coalition Government. Winston Peters, Shane Jones and Casey Costello can do this all day long, and they will.

This is why I voted for NZ First. I’m going to enjoy watching National Party loyalists enjoying the show too.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...