Speculation is rife that NZ First leader Winston Peters and his former adviser Michael Laws are to team up again as part of a “relaunch” of the party this year.
Neither Mr Laws, who is to stand down as Whanganui mayor this year, nor Mr Peters would confirm the rumours. But MPs from both sides of the House and sources close to NZ First said they were aware of plans.
One source said Mr Peters had indicated he wanted to relaunch the party this year.
The annual conference will be in Christchurch in late October.
I think they’ll easily get 5% – they almost made it last time. Memories of Peters’ disgrace will have faded; they’ll be able to campaign against in favor of smacking, against the ETS, Chinese investment, the Maori Party, Whanau Ora, foreshore and seabed, the existence of Maori in general . . .
National will probably be able to rule out Peters as a coalition partner – which means (as I’m sure they’ll gleefully point out) that a vote for Labour is a vote for Michael Laws as a Cabinet Minister. That’s gotta be 100,000 centre-left votes right there.
And what if National did experience a sudden collapse in support (it’s not unthinkable) and Goff had a realistic prospect of running a coalition government with New Zealand First, the Greens and the Maori Party? Helen Clark couldn’t control Peters – it would be simply impossible to run a government with both Peters and Laws let loose inside the Beehive.