The Dim-Post

November 6, 2011

Winston Peters and the theory of eternal recurrence

Filed under: psuedopolitics — danylmc @ 5:56 pm

Via Stuff:

NZ First leader Winston Peters says the party will remain on the Opposition benches and refuse to support either of the two main parties if it is reelected to Parliament.

In a speech to be delivered to party faithful in Auckland today, Mr Peters all but killed any hope of Labour stitching up a minority government with his support if NZ First passed the 5 per cent threshold, saying he believed that the party that got the most votes should try to form the next government.

“New Zealand First is not going with National. New Zealand First is not going with Labour either. We are making that clear here today.

Peters’ strategy is pretty simple. By ruling out the possibility of going into coalition with Labour, he attracts right-wing voters who like his policies on immigration etc, but don’t want to cast a vote for his party if it means he’ll go into coalition with Labour. Then, after the election, Peters can go into coalition with Labour and throw a temper tantrum about media conspiracies every time someone suggests he promised not to go into coalition with Labour.


  1. you’re writing some there is some kind of precedent for your theory.

    Comment by Che Tibby — November 6, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

  2. Well put. He hasn’t seemed to have learned that the rules actually do apply to him. Unfortunately, neither have a large number of (apparently senile) old people who continue to vote for him.

    Comment by success03 — November 6, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

  3. Peters could always claim that all truth is crooked and time itself is a circle…

    Comment by Conor Roberts — November 6, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

  4. I suspect he’d be quite happy to state that supporting on confidence and supply is not “going with” nor “forming a coalition with” if it comes down to it

    Comment by garethw — November 6, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

  5. He could just say that he lives in a dynamic environment.

    Comment by sammy — November 6, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  6. he attracts right-wing voters who like his policies on immigration etc

    Does Peters run on immigration anymore? Not that I pay close attention to him, but my impression has been that the “New Zealand First” part of their party line these days was about foreign ownership of stuff rather than immigration.

    It’s probably moot, anyway — it’ll take some large scandal or cock-up from one of the big two parties for NZF to hit 5%.

    Comment by bradluen — November 6, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

  7. We can be ever hopeful, bradluen, we can be ever hopeful. Frankly, if it looks like Peters will get back to the 5 %, I suspect it may affect the vote on MMP. He is the main argument against MMP, IMO.

    Comment by David in Chch — November 6, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

  8. @brad: there was definite “scary Asians will buy up all our land!” dogwhistling in the NZ First political broadcast, which I suppose is a natural development from the good ol’ “scary Asians will drive fast cars at you” dogwhistling.

    Comment by QoT — November 6, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

  9. If Wintson gets 5% that is ok

    I think the main arguments against (our current implementation of) MMP are clowns like Peter Dunhill and National’s abuse of the system to get more right wing seats by “letting” ACT win Epsom.

    Comment by gullysn0w — November 6, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

  10. He is the main argument against MMP, IMO

    Yes, when assessing the merits of different voting systems the country could adopt, the most important thing to consider is which one would make it hardest for this particular politician you don’t like right now to be elected. At times like this it’s important to look at the big picture and think about what’s best for the country in the long term, and of course that means making petty, temporary, individual political annoyances the basis of your reasoning.

    Then, after the election, Peters can go into coalition with Labour and throw a temper tantrum about media conspiracies every time someone suggests he promised not to go into coalition with Labour.

    This is grossly unfair to Peters. For example, he may throw a temper tantrum about how stupid the individual reporters are, or how ridiculous and irrelevant their questions are, or how they obviously didn’t listen to what he was saying at the time.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 7, 2011 @ 6:22 am

  11. Winston has lost the fire in the belly. He is old and beaten.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 7, 2011 @ 8:05 am

  12. And Danyl puts his finger on the pulse….the pulse….the pulse?

    Comment by Galeandra — November 7, 2011 @ 8:28 am

  13. But Psycho, did you listen to him at the time? Do you notice that in fact tapes of Winston’s comments can be pulled up to contradict him? When a reporter asked him about his helicopter use during the last election, he completely and utterly denied it. And when the reporter said that he had sat behind him on the flight from Blenheim to Westport (or something like that – I forget the exact locations), Peters said it was Blenheim to Nelson, and so the reporter obviously had the entire story wrong because he had one city name wrong. He ignored the core of the question and took it off in another, trivial direction that was irrelevant to the original question. He obscures and obfuscates.

    In addition, look at the “results”. He has surely been a destablizing influence. And his previous influence is a consequence of MMP, yes, but it goes against the spirit of MMP. Winston represents himself, and no one else, yet he manages to say things that garner him support. Last time it was not enough. Will it be this time?

    I agree that people like Peter Dunne are past their prime, but at least they have been reasonably competent ministers who have literally been able to go either way. Isn’t that the idea behind MMP?

    I hope you are right, Sanctuary, because he has been the loose cannon in every government in which he has spent time. (I was going to say “served”, but that is not WP.)

    Comment by David in Chch — November 7, 2011 @ 8:30 am

  14. “He is the main argument against MMP, IMO.”

    yes. we can’t have 200,000 people voting for people we don’t like, and that person getting into parliament.

    it wouldn’t be democratic.

    Comment by che tibby — November 7, 2011 @ 8:34 am

  15. “it wouldn’t be democratic.”

    Which is not really the point. WP is the perfect illustration of the “Tail wagging the dog” effect that people don’t like about MMP.

    Comment by James Stephenson — November 7, 2011 @ 8:42 am

  16. In the Clark government at least, Winston Peters proved to be a perfectly adequate minister, so I am not so sure what the whinging from the “we don’t like Winston” brigade is all about. Mind you, Winston Peters did manage to give a voice to a deeply unfashionable section of New Zealand society that is despised by the middle class snobs that now dominate our political discourse, so I imagine that got under a lot of peoples skins.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 7, 2011 @ 8:49 am

  17. The “Tail wagging the dog” effect could be better expressed as “the party I support no longer being able to rule alone on a minority of the vote” effect. Plenty of us don’t see that as a problem.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 7, 2011 @ 8:59 am

  18. Actually I think thats over analysing it- the baubles of just being an opposition leader are pretty good.

    Comment by gn — November 7, 2011 @ 9:55 am

  19. “In the Clark government at least, Winston Peters proved to be a perfectly adequate minister”

    i’ve never, ever been a fan of peters, and he’s easily accused of rorting the taxpayer. but he did deliver a few really good policies.

    free public transport for older people, and free medical care for under-5s being notable examples.

    soo…. democracy in action there.

    if he stops national getting in and selling state assets, c’est la vie.

    Comment by che tibby — November 7, 2011 @ 10:34 am

  20. The tenor of many of these comments tend to illustrate that having Peters is a reason for dispatching MMP. Would think that most folk would have realised by now how the system works and vote accordingly. If you voted for National at the last election and ended up with a coaltion ( of sorts) with ACT and the Maori Party and we are all supposed to say whoopee!! And look at that mess. The point is that Key required these other alliances to keep power. The real bizarre outcome was that Act had far less public support than NZ First – that was hardly an equitable result – but again it was the system.
    Winston has made some mistakes no doubt but he is a genuine Kiwi and is inclusive of all Kiwis when you boil it all down he represents the only party I can see that fosters exports and wants to reduce Government involvement in our lives. The others have no policies for growth because they have no idea. Nats support big business to do it and Labour are just labour. The Greens can not govern and the rest are a rabble with their own vested interests. Read NZ Firsts policy document. I did and was surprised.

    Comment by Mike — November 7, 2011 @ 11:10 am

  21. Amazing how many people think that the mere specter of a chance of Peters getting into Parliament, which would involve rousing 5% support, ie more than any party other than the top 3, is enough to show how bad MMP is. FFS, if 5% of NZers vote for him it would be fucking travesty if he didn’t get in. That’s over 5 times as many votes as any of the 60 duschbags in electorates get handed to them by Labour and National.

    If you don’t like MMP, it’s because you either don’t like or don’t understand democracy.

    I’m saying this and I HATE WP. I think he’s a dickhead. But there’s literally dozens of dickheads in our government. At least he’s a dickhead with his own balls.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — November 7, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  22. WP was an entirely competent minister for racing from memory…

    “he represents the only party I can see that fosters exports” Mike @ 20
    If by fosters you mean potentially offend our customers who are among the few who are not suffering recession?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 7, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

  23. From my contacts in the racing industry he was the only competent minister for racing we have had for the past 20 years. The main point I think you are making is his attitude to chinese investment here. He calls it as it is and wants an even playing field – like Kiwis being able to have full ownership of assets there as is proposed by their investments here. Even Fonterra could not organise that. We have a free trade with China- Aussie does not – yet their growth recently in % terms is ahead of us. I do not believe for one minute he is opposed to overseas investment per se – its just on what terms. We let in a Japanese group in Taranaki to build a new smallgoods plant and the product goes back to Japan as does the profits. If that was to occur in the future would not the trade off be a sister operation with kiwi or part Kiwi ownership and capital and to provide Kiwi jobs and access to the Japanese market. I do not know him personally but have good close contacts who know him well. They advise he instinctively feels a situation and if he doesn’t have the answers he makes sure he finds them from folk who do. He knows his way around and has been around a long time. Look what he did with the US – basically single handed created the thaw through Rice. He gets no credit and he should. He was obviously flawed in the past with some of the party dealings but it requires some balance rather than the media led venom that passes for journalism.

    Comment by Mike — November 7, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

  24. Mike, we let an Auckland group in Taranaki to build a new smallgoods plant and the product goes back to Auckland as does the profits.

    At least they employ people, pay tax and rates and buy stuff for their factories off local farmers, ay? (And the huge reduction in racing duty, yes I bet he was, and will be, the most popular racing minister for a while.)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 8, 2011 @ 7:35 am

  25. Clunking Fist

    “Secondary processing of meat products is also becoming a
    thriving market sector, particularly with the commissioning in
    2005 of the Itoham NZ Ltd plant at Waitara (North Taranaki).
    This plant processes meat products into a variety of small
    goods for export to Japan. In 2008, its salami won a gold medal
    at an international food fair in Germany.”

    That came off the web and is a state of the art facility.

    There is nothing stopping New Zealand business getting involved in the smallgoods industry and becoming a leader in this field like we have in the dairy business. We have advantages to sourcing good meats, adds value and requires marketing. But nothing happens. Likewise Kapiti Cheeses is a success story second to none. Its been gobbled up by Fonterra -but where are the other developers? There are a whole raft of possibilities here under our noses – there is no discussion at any level. That needs to change. WP even at this stage remains a catalyst for that. Where are the rest? Its bloody disgraceful.

    Sure he gained a reduction of racing duty – but that industry has been treated as cash cow for decades- and from that gambling crowd – so who cared. Peters actually did what he set out to do and that was to recognise the industry for what it was – a major employer of people, a significant export earner which could be fostered. He actually did his homework by going behind the scenes to get the real oil. Previous governments had paid lip service and continued to collect their taxes and did bugger all else. You can see how Australia again has taken a differing stance but has an industry to be proud of and a race now that has interest and attracted business from all round the world. It is the multiplier affect at work.
    Ireland, with a similar place in the sun to us in that industry has done the same. The NZ industry is stuffed. Folk need to have a good look at this and get involved and sort it out.It is a massive mind shift which should be fostered by our leaders.

    Comment by Mike — November 8, 2011 @ 11:54 am

  26. Mr Peters has had his days in the limelight and it’s probably time for him to move on now and hand the reins over to someone younger with more enthusiasm for the job

    I don’t understand his strategy because if you are not going to side with either major party, then people aren’t going to vote for your party which is a minor one. If he said he was going to side with Labour and came up with leftist policies different from Labour, then people with his perspective would vote for him. The same with National. If he took one policy, say the environment, and said “I am keen to form a coalition with National but I do feel that there should be money reserved for the environment that they are not planning to set aside at this point”, people would vote for NZ First and National would form a coalition with them and then there would be an understanding there between NZ First and the voters because they adapted National’s stance somewhat on what is increasingly becoming an important issue to look at.

    Comment by Betty — November 8, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  27. If you actually do not seek power of the government but just want to make sure that the foreshore is kept for all, that there are some controls on foreign ownership and that our constitutional place in the sun is not determined by a cook up between Key and the MP then why not. When he leads the only party holding true to these very important maxims I would suggest there would be more than a few interested. However I can not see WP sitting in the wings for too long. So what happens there who knows?

    You might be right about time to move on – but tell him that. He has more energy and go in him than folk half his age. I know he strikes a chord with many on account of his policies and they are not all grey. I read how the NZ First Tauranga candidate became involved – was refreshing.
    What has caught my interest is that the moment his head pops up the media and others rise to stop him – and that is noticed and most Kiwis will make their own view. I think he is a shoe in – and will surprise

    Comment by Mike — November 8, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

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