Why John Key should rule Winston Peters out again

January 17th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

In 2008 and 2011 John Key ruled out a coalition or confidence and supply deal with Winston Peters. I believe he should do the same again for 2014.

I say this aware that it means that if NZ First hold the balance of power, it will probably mean that they put Labour/Greens into Government. I think that would be a terrible thing for New Zealand in the short-term, but it will be worse for in the long-term if they do do a deal with Winston.

Many people say you should never advocate opposition over government. You enter politics to get into Government, so you can implement the policies you think will be best for New Zealand. Jim Anderton once said that the worst day in government is better than the best day in opposition. He had a point.

However I still think that refusing to do a deal with Winston is the best way to be in government long-term.

Let’s look at the two major possibilities if Peters does hold the balance of power. National does a deal with him, or we get a Labour/Green/NZ First (and maybe Mana) Government.

If National does a deal with him, they get a third term. That’s great, but does anyone think it will be a Government that can achieve much? Does anyone think that Peters will be committed to making the Government a success, rather than humiliating Key. It is well known Peters wants utu on Key, and the two ways to achieve that is either to sack him, or make him subservient to you. I think subservience is worse than sacking.

A third term Government is tough at the best of time, let alone with Peters in it. Can anyone see National having a chance of a fourth term? No. The reality is that National will probably lose office with a vote share down in the mid 30s. NZ First will probably fall apart again, or dip below 5% as being in Government has never worked for them before. So what you’ll face is National in opposition, with no potential coalition partners and needing over 45% to get back into Government. That means probably nine years of opposition. You don’t go from say 34% to 46% in one term.

But now let us look at the alternative. Say National gets 44%, Labour 32%, Greens 11% and NZ First 5%.

NZ First has the balance of power, and as National won’t cut a deal with them, they put a Labour/Greens/NZ First and maybe Mana Government into power.

Now that Government is going to be bad for New Zealand. They’ll effectively nationalise the energy sector, set up state owned building companies, insurance companies, hike taxes, drive up debt, and put spending back onto an unsustainable path. But there is also a very good chance that government will be very unstable. Peters and Turei and Norman in the same Government will be full of loathing. Peters has boasted he has never put the Greens into power, and doesn’t intend to. However he’ll have no choice but to back them if National won’t deal with him, and hence we’ll get a Government that will not do well.

National will be in opposition yes, but they will enter opposition on 44%, not 34%. They’ll only need to pick up 3% to get back into Government. If a Labour/Greens/NZ First Government doesn’t shed at least 3% after a term, I’d be amazed. In fact, they may not even last a full term. So yes National will go into opposition, but only for one term, not three.

So its a tough call John Key has to make. One can argue that for NZ’s sake, he should do whatever he can to stop Labour/Greens gaining power in 2014. But I argue that it would be in National’s long-term interest not to do a deal, as being in Government with Winston will be just too damaging. NZ First without Winston would be fine to deal with, but I don’t see any significant possibility of a third term with him in Government being conducive to good Government.

So my hope is that Winston isn’t the last cab off the rank, but he isn’t on the rank at all.

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82 Responses to “Why John Key should rule Winston Peters out again”

  1. Longknives (4,624 comments) says:

    I have to disagree- Keeping Russel Norman away from our Economy must be the priority for any sane New Zealander…

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  2. queenstfarmer (751 comments) says:

    I agree DPF, this is what I’ve been advocating (well, to my imaginary audience…)

    @Longknives, unfortunately for our economic wellbeing, as long as > 5% of the population vote for the Greens, it seems fairly inevitable that we will be getting Russell Norman either this year or in 3 years.

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  3. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    A pact with the devil would be preferable to the Luddites gaining power.

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  4. smttc (710 comments) says:

    I predict that if John Key rules out Winston Peters then NZ First will not hold the balance of power after the next election. Its vote will float away.

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  5. lazza (362 comments) says:

    All very interesting “Slim Dave” … Bbbbuttt.

    This is all based on existing polling with all sorts of MMP wild cards out there and showing up … like maybe Craig, Horan, Act, the I’ net Party, Cunners crapping out … & the Greens in free fall? sorta stuff.

    Lets therefore not jump at shadows just yet Huh?

    And Oh BTW, theres Peter’s hopeless bunch of losers who will (iPredict) be much! less of a force come November.

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  6. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    urgh scary shit.

    the scary thing is, what could that far far far left coalition of shit introduce in 3 years? what entitlement that could never be reversed but cost us billions?

    from a personal point of view, Dime needs another national term. If everything remains how it is the Dime estate will be freehold and ill be above the law. it will hurt a lot less when the far left come to punish me for making money.

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  7. Alan (1,073 comments) says:

    This article presumes that the National caucus is united enough and subservient enough to follow John Key into opposition.

    I don’t accept this as a given; power is a fleeting thing, it needs to grasps when the chance is there; given the situation where Winston holds the balance of power I think someone senior in National would cut a deal and roll Key.

    Nothing to do with personal ambition though, all in the best interests of the nation and keeping the “dangerous left” out of power, of course. My money would be on Judith.

    [DPF: I regard this as highly unlikely. First of all Key has huge sway over caucus. Secondly the electorate would not tolerate a change of leader so one can form Govt just weeks after an election.]

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  8. ChardonnayGuy (1,169 comments) says:

    I’m inclined to agree, although I keep wondering if some NZF caucus members would flake off and prop up National regardless of whether there’s a coalition with Dear Leader. One interesting side effect of the strength of the Labour/Green Opposition at present is that Winston First’s post-election survival this time is uncertain. A significant proportion of free-floating anti-Nat votes have returned to the real left, plunging Winston First back down under five percent. As should be obvious, I don’t think he’s trustworthy full stop, wretched opportunist personality cultist and authoritarian social conservative that he and his sycophants are. What mainstream political party would have chosen Richard Tosser (oops, Prosser) as a List MP?!

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  9. Than (439 comments) says:

    Hear hear.

    Ruling out working with NZF is a risk, but I completely agree it is a worthwhile one. It also has the benefit of seriously denting NZF’s chance of reaching the 5% threshold. Potential NZF voters will think twice if they know that a vote for NZF is also effectively a vote for the Greens in government.

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  10. Cunningham (828 comments) says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Stick to your principles JK. People will lose respect for National if they say they’ll now work with him after what they said the previous 2 occasions and I reckon they’ll shed some votes for that reason.

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  11. Nick R (498 comments) says:

    It’s not just National and NZ First. They’ll almost certainly need another support party. Probably more than one. They have 3 right now. Although it is very difficult to see how NZ First and the Maori Party (for example) could work in the same Government, I would have said the same about the Maori Party and Act once upon a time, and that seems to have been ok.

    But I think that makes your case stronger. If National-NZ First is a train wreck in the making, National-Act-United Future-Maori Party- CCCP- NZ First is worse.

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  12. anonymouse (706 comments) says:

    Why do you think the Nats are making cooing noises to Colin Craig?
    its because the more they boost his profile,the more votes he will bleed from Winston, the Conservative Party and NZ First have vast areas of overlap, so by helping them National are effectively putting a lid on NZ First’s vote and lowering the chances of him getting over 5%

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  13. ChardonnayGuy (1,169 comments) says:

    Which does raise the interesting possibility that NZF and CCCP are chasing after the evil bigoted elderly and ratbag vote in competition and may cancel each other out. Which is why United Future and ACT should take a leaf out of Dr Who’s book and regenerate. Given the Seymour/Whyte candidacies, ACT may be on its way, but as I’ve said, United Future should rebrand itself into something akin to the UK Liberal Democrats, given Peter Dunne has expressed admiration for the latter.

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  14. ChardonnayGuy (1,169 comments) says:

    However, there are problems with chasing the ratbag vote that way. It may mean that Colin Craig and the Cons mutate into a political entity virtually indistinguishable from New Zealand First in terms of its opportunism and obnoxious policies and social attitudes, leading to a situation where Colin Craig becomes Winston 2.0 and the Cons sour into something like NZF 2.0.

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  15. RRM (9,603 comments) says:

    DPF – I seriously doubt a coalition of the present left would last a full term.

    Even ignoring the minor parties, Labour are a shambles, and a mere shadow of what they were the last time they were the Govt, when they had that strong leadership core that kept them on track. :arrow: Look at how they can’t get their stories straight on issues even as an opposition party – west coast mining?? :arrow: Look at all the loose comments (boycott the Mad Butcher??) that would not leak out of a capable outfit. :arrow: Look at all the far left ‘policy ideas’ they announce, that seem to be focussed around what the hard core socialist activist wing of their base wants to hear: nationalisations, spending, all power to the unions, tax the rich pricks.

    And the Greens are in a similar position, having replaced Jeanette Fitzsimons with that AWFUL Australian child.

    Mana are a joke, hardcore smelly activists not politicians, hopefully they will just continue spending their time at street protests instead of parliament.

    Labour and the Greens contain a few good dudes, but I just don’t believe the left bloc as a whole are at all competent or professional enough to function as a government. If the legions of muppets who for some reason are still happy with “you can’t trust John Key” and “own our assets” as thinking you can run a country with manage to vote the left back in; – Jesus. I only hope the civil service manage to keep everything running until they implode and an early election is called.

    I voted Clark in, and voted to keep her in – but the left parties in opposition have turned me off in a way they never did while in Government.

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  16. alloytoo (456 comments) says:

    A Greens-Labour Government?

    Bad in the short term, good in the long term.

    The Greens in power may be just the thing for people to realize what they really are.

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  17. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    In other words:

    Winston wants to do one thing in government – wreck National so they not only don’t serve a fourth term – but don’t serve for an entire decade!

    The Left’s VERY useful idiot.

    The left will now do EVERYTHING to help Winston.

    Cos Winston is a better bet than Cunliffe & Wussle & Hone. 9yrs gaurenteed is utopia……than a miserable fucken 3!!!!!

    Winny goes with National.

    Winny then gets paid off by Key………. to not be a fucken Lawyer. :cool:

    The pay off:

    Sir Winston…the Lawyer…..for services to himself. :cool:

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  18. NK (1,102 comments) says:

    Funnily enough the most stable partner for the Nats over the years has been Act and the easiest way to ensure Winston is kept out and Act stays helping the Nats is to vote for Act. Act will win Epsom and so the equation is very simple.

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  19. bringbackdemocracy (412 comments) says:

    I agree, if Labour-Greens-Mana don’t gain power in 2014, they will in 2017. It’s only a matter of time. By ruling out Peters now it will take him out of the equation for good and postpone Labour-Greens-Mana even further. NZ First has lost significant support to the Conservatives and this will only continue.
    A socially conservative voter faced with Winston potentially falling below 5% and their vote not counting would be more likely to vote for the Conservatives who look like gaining an electorate seat, and their vote would count.

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  20. Chris2 (765 comments) says:

    DPF, your analysis overlooks Key’s publicly stated declaration that he would not hang around in Opposition.

    For completeness your analysis ought to include a discussion of that consequence.

    Is it Key’s decision alone whether to accept Peters into a Coalition, or does the National Party/Caucus have a say? His Cabinet might rather get into bed with Peters, rather than be in Opposition.

    And why does your commentary not once mention the Conservative Party as a potential partner?

    [DPF: Yes Key would go in opposition, but I suspect he will also retire at end of a third term in Govt, so 2017 may not have Key either way.

    I don't mention Conservatives just as I don't mention ACT, UF, Maori etc. This is not a post on how likely it is that NZF hold the balance of power, it is on whether Key should rule them out if they do.

    The decision on coalition partner acceptability will be made before the election, and I expect the PMs views to hold huge sway, but suspect it will be a caucus decision]

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  21. iMP (2,311 comments) says:

    Wnston’s health is also an issue. he’ll be in his seventies if he makes the 51st parliament; Colin Criag is in his 40s.

    I see 2014 as a fascinating scrap between NZF and CC. So far, its been a one horse race, and JK announcing early he will not trade with NZF simply sets the pitch. Large chunks of NZF voters will not support Greens-Lab. JK worked that out long ago which is why he’s looked seriously at Consv. a much more stable unity than the NZF one man band.

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  22. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    “DPF – I seriously doubt a coalition of the present left would last a full term.”

    they always do :( everyone said that for helens 3rd term. it was said many times about the ginga robot thing in aussie. lefties hang on no matter what. where else will they achieve good money and a bit of power?

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  23. Kimbo (696 comments) says:

    There is a third alternative, which I think is much more likely if NZ First holds the balance of power.

    National does no deal with NZ First, but Peters votes National confidence and supply anyway, but nothing more, and sits on the cross benches.

    [DPF: Or he abstains. I will blog on that possibility next week. It actually could work very well for both National and NZ First]

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  24. James Stephenson (2,077 comments) says:

    I have to disagree- Keeping Russel Norman away from our Economy must be the priority for any sane New Zealander…

    Yes but. It’s going to happen sooner or later isn’t it?

    If so, the best thing would be for it to happen in a unstable mess of a coalition that includes Winnie. The Greens have never been in Government, so they continue to hide behind their “shield of sanctimony”, the chance for the realities of government to permanently remove that from them in less than a single term, and force them into the struggling-to-make5% club? I reckon that’s a win-win.

    Or would you rather wait for a more stable Labour-Green coalition?

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  25. Viking2 (11,220 comments) says:

    “We have a Government that doesn’t really listen to the people and has increasingly grown comfortable in a quasi-arrogant swagger.

    “And now, here comes somebody larger than life, fearless and controversial who has decided to swagger alongside them.”

    He decried the absence of long-term thinking in Parliament, saying that most voters felt there was not “an ounce of vision within 1,000 miles of the Beehive”.

    Business leader and former entrepreneur of the year Derek Handley has described the National-led Government as arrogant and lacking vision in an article which stresses the importance of Kim Dotcom’s new Internet Party.

    Mr Handley, a Hong Kong-born, New Zealand-based innovator who was a New Zealand Herald Business Leader of the Year in 2010, says the Government is “heading down a dangerous spiral” on issues of technology, privacy, and human rights.

    He makes the comments in an opinion piece today.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11187754

    Many will come along like a big dog and piss on these comments but the blind can never see.
    The Nats. have been forever visionless until Key came along but remain shackled with that attitiude. Key can see but held back by the constant referral to their funding friends and not the electorate.

    Govt. should be driven by whats good for Kiwi’s.

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  26. Monty (965 comments) says:

    I think john key will govern with Act and Peter Dunne after the election. The left will be a mess. Winston is the second most corrupt politician who has been in parliament in recent years.

    But this might be the year of unsuccessful minor parties.

    John Boscowen will easily take Epsom for act and bring in two others.
    Conservatives will not make it over the line but should get 3%. For what it is worth dunne and Craig should combine as they broadly appeal to same demographic but dunne could be entry into parliament.
    Krim dot Con will get 3% but taken straight off the greens who will get 7%. His cult party will take votes that may assist national staying in government because of the wasted vote factor.
    I’m not sure how labour will do. Cunnliffe comes across as a smug superior condescending prick. He is desperate to be liked, but he is a double speaking shallow arse. The key issue will be if NZ wakes up to what those of the right see.

    And then there is the economy. Doing well. Why put the economy at risk with an unstable government which as David points out is exactly what will happen.

    By John Key ruling out Winston, he is effectively telling NZ that the options are
    1 unstable government vs stable government
    2 spend and hope economically illiterate government who will escalate debt vs great economic management with track records
    3 soft on welfare vs firm. On welfare

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  27. Pete George (23,165 comments) says:

    The last two elections Key has ruled out dealing with Peters. What has changed? There’s no way of knowing what the outcome of the election will be so it’s necessary to judge what has changed with Winston First.

    Has Peters changed? Is he looking any better than in previous election years? He answers for himself.

    Key should say the same about coalition with NZ First.

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  28. Nostalgia-NZ (4,989 comments) says:

    While it’s hard to disagree with DPF, it’s bloody sobering to consider that ‘utu,’ as DPF puts it, is part of the political landscape to such a degree that sound Government could be put in second place by any politician. I hope we are not sliding into the negative stuff already, potentially losing in order to win next time and so on. JK has already shown that he is foremost working for the good of the Country and will win or lose on what he puts to the electorate. Besides, Peters is not the only wild card, and the way it is shaping at the moment his ‘hand’ may not be as strong as other parties or potential parties. Cometh the hour and cometh the man (or should that instead be genderless; person?) Whichever, with the election being termed to close to call and The Internet party already predicted to be potentially able to have 6 seats the landscape is far wider than Winston Peters as the only wild card. Cunliffe may yet build strongly, he appears more similar to Key than what he is given credit for, his eyes will be closely on the developments and may even make the hard decision to push away the Greens more forcefully that he already done and in the same way HC always managed. On the other hand JK remains the master strategist and that is where the battle lies.

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  29. David Garrett (6,660 comments) says:

    A very good analysis DPF…

    As for those reluctantly concluding that it’s inevitable the Greens/Labour/Mana/NZF get into power consider this: between 1960 and ’72 – twelve years – the electorate kept voting in the Nats…Not, in view, because everyone loved Kiwi Keith so much, but that Labour in its “red” phase was too awful to contemplate.

    OK, both the electorate and the voting system are quite different from what they were during those 12 years, but there must be a significant part of the electorate which finds the prospect of Norman and Turei – let alone Hone – with their hands on the levers of power very very frightening. And if the rag-tag coalition did get in, there is the 1972-75 precedent to suggest that they would only last one term as DPF suggests. Labour lost in ’75 mainly because of factors beyond their control…I believe a Lab/Greens/NZF/Mana government would simply self destruct, possibly before their term was out.

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  30. deadrightkev (319 comments) says:

    “I couldn’t agree more. Stick to your principles JK. ”

    Yes, and National has plenty of other principles to offer Winston if required to get over the line.

    If you are going to rule out Peters once you rule him out forever, don’t make up shit when it suits. NZ deserves a party and leader that means what it says and acts on it for its people. I realise that is a big ask but so far Craig is as close as we are going to get.

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  31. Pete Burdon (19 comments) says:

    Great article David. The one thing that wasn’t mentioned is what Chris2 talks about (The John Key Factor). I think he is hugely responsible for National’s popularity, and I don’t think he would hang around in opposition. That would make it tougher in 2017 without his media skills in the campaign. Although I understand your argument, I think National need to use Key for as long as they can (Even if that means Winston).

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  32. Kimbo (696 comments) says:

    “Business leader and former entrepreneur of the year Derek Handley has described the National-led Government as arrogant and lacking vision in an article which stresses the importance of Kim Dotcom’s new Internet Party.”

    Let me interpret that for you, Viking2: -

    Self-obsessed millionaire who has undoubted skill and a fair amount of luck in creating a lucrative business in the relatively uncharted waters of internet marketing has a supposed epiphany: -

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10885823

    “With an ambition to “become a new type of entrepreneur”, to leave the world better off than when he arrived, Handley left the Hyperfactory to discover the problems facing his generation and a way to do something about them.

    His search took him to Africa and the micro-financing of projects that gave farmers or traders the funds to do more than just live hand-to-mouth.

    However, it wasn’t in a poverty-stricken village where Handley would chart his next course, but at a luxury resort on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island.

    It was there, over a glass of wine, where Handley agreed to give away year of his life to work with Branson on a project that became known as The B Team.

    The B Team is a initiative hoping to create a “brighter vision of capitalism”, where businesses look at not only making a profit but also at solving environmental and social issues”.

    However, here’s the kicker, Viking2: -

    “The project has yet to launch, and although Handley originally committed a year of his life to the pursuit, he said it would now be “foolish” to not see it through.

    “I’ve only started to learn how little I know in this world and about this leading edge of what’s really a movement. It would be foolish to step down now and do something else. I hope to stick around to see The B Team launch and get into the first real piece of work which will be out in the coming months,” Handley told the Herald”.

    In other words, this guy believes his own shit. He really believes he is the Messiah. He really believes he has the Midas Touch. And he really is arrogant enough to believe the Government should stop what they are doing, and join him in his quest for personal fulfillment.

    Piss off trying to waste my tax-payer dollars with kumbaya slogans, you closet-Greenie!

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  33. hj (6,607 comments) says:

    “Immigration and tax breaks for investment in residential property are being cited as the underlying causes of steep increases in the cost of housing over the past decade.

    New Zealand now boasts one of the highest rates of home unaffordability in the world as a result of prices rising far faster than incomes, and the government’s Savings Working Group blames that squarely on the policies of successive governments.

    Although “the favourable tax treatment of property investment” accounted for about 50% of house price increases between 2001 and 2007, the working group said, there was also strong evidence that rapid swings in immigration brought about price-rise “shocks”.

    There was a sharp spike in immigration in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and, said working group committee member Dr Andrew Coleman, it appeared that property prices did not fall anywhere near as greatly when immigration fell again.

    The report added that there was little evidence that immigration boosted local incomes. In fact, the need to build roads and schools meant that net migration contributed to the national deficit.

    ational Labour, Green and thr news media are proimmigration snd “new New Zealnders” (instant Kiwis) get to vote also.
    so is it any wonder the traitors hate NZ First?

    [DPF: Off topic 20 demerits]

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  34. GPT1 (2,101 comments) says:

    It took two terms and the worst ever election result in 2002 for National to recover from the last coalition with Winston. On that occasion MMP was brand new so there was an excuse. Forewarned on this occasion so there’s no excuse.

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  35. radvad (689 comments) says:

    Totally agree DPF. The deal Bolger did with Peters in 1996 gave us 9 years of Clark.

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  36. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    Don’t get suckered in by Handley V2; he’s no neutral, and there’s a very large conflict of interest in what he’s said today.

    I’m with DPF on this. Key earned kudos in 2008 and 2011 for stating his position on Peters and NZF clearly and unequivocally. Peters has never managed to last a three-year term as a Minister, and he would destroy any coalition that he was a part of. But in any event, I doubt that Peters will get back in. The Peters of January 2014 is a pale shadow of WRP even of 2011; he’s lost his spark, and all the late nights, fags and whisky have caught up with him. He will not be back at the election, and NZF will sink without trace once he is gone.

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  37. radvad (689 comments) says:

    Also, Peters has famously said he does not want (the baubles) office. That gives Key cover. Just say he is ruling NZF out as they claim to not want office and he is assuming Peters will keep his word lol.

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  38. tvb (4,234 comments) says:

    But with Key saying no deal with Winston then the public later this year will vote knowing that a vote for Winston is a vote for a 3 way unstable Labour Government. So don’t vote for Winston if that prospect is unacceptable. National spent 3 years in opposition after Government with Winston. Labour was driven to its lowest ever vote after Winston. One option for Winston is to do no deal with anybody (he has already signaled that already). What does John Key do then if he holds the most votes but is short of a majority? In effect that will give Winston a veto over everything. So by refusing to do a deal with Winston a minority John Key Government is not a 3 year Government. In that case John Key should continue to Govern as if he had a majority and dare everyone to pull him down.

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  39. David Garrett (6,660 comments) says:

    KS: Well said. One of the excuses Heather Roy had for her destructive behaviour was the need for a succession plan in ACT…she even lauded my appointment as whip – in her place – as the kind of thing we needed to be doing.

    Rather than simply not having any succession plan, NZF goes to the opposite end of that continuum in continuing to foster a cult of personality around Peters…Who now can name the recently elected deputy? I can’t…At the risk of Godwinning, even the Nazis has a group around der fuhrer who the public knew and identified as part of the leadership cabal…in NZF there is absolutely nothing and no-one. What have they got, 8 members? Who can name them?

    I agree NZF will sink without trace when Winston either retires or has the almost inevitable heart attack caused by years of excess.

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  40. s.russell (1,578 comments) says:

    If a majority of voters is so nutty as to give a majority to the nutty parties then there is no hope for NZ anyway. Best to make it crystal clear that voting for Peters is a vote for a totally nutty Govt. I have to believe that most NZ voters will then do the right thing.

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  41. Chuck Bird (4,734 comments) says:

    DPF, I think I have known Winston a bit longer than you. He has his faults like all us but I have not found him to be vindictive. At least not obsessively vindictive like Roger Douglas who hatred of Rodney almost finished off ACT. Secondly, he was pretty hostile towards Jim Bulger. He ended up working very well with Bulger but the problems with the coalition occurred when Shipley rolled Bulger.

    As has been pointed out Winston is near 70 and I believe would like to leave a legacy. I do not think Winston would like to leave politics remembered for bringing a government down or continually having problems with is coalition partner. He might deny it but I would not be surprised if he was not almost as keen on knighthood as John Key.

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  42. slightlyrighty (2,499 comments) says:

    I disagree DPF. However, I do not wish to see NZF back into parliament. Peters will be hoping that Key does state that he will not work with Winston. This will give the protest vote somewhere to go. Given the state of the polls, NZF over 5% is cause for concern for National. Savvy voters who do not want a National Government will recognise that NZF getting over 5% is vital to a center left government.

    I’m surprised Winston hasn’t ruled himself out of working with National.

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  43. Daniel (185 comments) says:

    I agree with your thoughts DPF. I also agree with some commenters that ruling out any deal with NZ First now by National will help ensure any right-leaning swing/central voters are more likely to abandon NZ First if it is clear that a vote for NZ First is a vote for a government with the Greens and Mana in it. The Conservatives could well benefit from those voters, and along with them, a third term National government.

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  44. Radman (137 comments) says:

    NZ deserves a party and leader that means what it says and acts on it for its people. I realise that is a big ask but so far Craig is as close as we are going to get.

    ROFLMAO. You Conservative right-wing nutjobs crack me up!! This guy hasn’t been elected to anything in his life and all of a sudden the guy with two first names is the Messiah!!

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  45. MH (671 comments) says:

    Colin Craig in a debate will be shown up for what he is – unsure,unable to say one way or the other. We don’t like that esp when it gets down to talk of where he stands regarding coalition partners.He needs a good whack with a jandal,preferably one with the foot still in it.

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  46. smttc (710 comments) says:

    hj, the troll, really on topic as usual.

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  47. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    how many elections does winnie have left in him?

    69 this year.. losing his charisma by the day…

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  48. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    @ Dime – as I said above, I doubt that Winston Peters has another wholehearted election campaign in him. Father Time appears to have tracked him down.

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  49. Wayne Mapp (62 comments) says:

    Always a bit of a gamble that the Labour/Greens propped up by NZF will only last three years. Look at Aus. Even a panicked Labor in 2010 was able to get another term.

    But David does raise the interesting issue of abstentions by NZF (which will have its own price). As in life, you don’t get nothing for free in politics. However, does Winston really expect to go beyond 2017, and can his party survive without him. Probably not. So he will want something substantial in 2014. For instance could he be Minister of Foreign Affairs outside Cabinet?

    The question really is can you be a Minister outside Cabinet on the basis of agreeing to abstain on confidence and supply. Historically not, but it is probably not constitutionally barred. It was a surprise to many at the time that Helen Clark instituted the idea of coalition Ministers all being outside Cabinet, and that such parties did not need to sign up for the whole govt programme. Winston for instance voted against the China NZ Free Trade agreement. Labour got the votes from National.

    But the concept worked well enough and was adopted by John Key. Can the principle be extended further? I would say yes. In practical terms an abstention can be as useful as an agreement to vote for confidence and supply.

    But I suspect many members of the public would say that Winston, as a Minister, was part of the govt.

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  50. Graeme Edgeler (3,274 comments) says:

    But I suspect many members of the public would say that Winston, as a Minister, was part of the govt.

    A minister is part of the government. Their party may not be, but they are.

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  51. davidp (3,550 comments) says:

    tvb>the public later this year will vote knowing that a vote for Winston is a vote for a 3 way unstable Labour Government.

    Three way? Unless National’s support completely collapses, the only way the Left can win is via a Labour-Greens-NZ First-Mana-Maori coalition. With Dotcom as well if he attracts enough current Green support to make the threshold. That’s a six way coalition, most of the partners hate each other, and four of the partners are either insane or bizarrely eccentric.

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  52. Nostalgia-NZ (4,989 comments) says:

    ‘Mr Handley, a Hong Kong-born, New Zealand-based innovator who was a New Zealand Herald Business Leader of the Year in 2010, says the Government is “heading down a dangerous spiral” on issues of technology, privacy, and human rights.’

    A couple of commentators above dealt with this by criticising the author yet there is no argument that the Legal Profession had a fall in income last year where other professions traded and occupations from memory all increased. The net result is that the issues mentioned above are less afforded protection by representation in the Courts, as well as probably falling crime rates costs contributing. The Country needs strong and robust legal advocacy, with some prominent cases being done for free by counsel then it transmits that some in instances cases may not be advocated, or not advocated fully, because of funding. That isn’t tackled by attacking the commentator, it should be being dealt with by the Government. Recently in England (or it may have been the entire British Isles) Lawyers didn’t turn up to Court for a day, the first time apparently in 800 years. The English economy is struggling and so apparently the rights of advocacy are diminished. That the NZ economy has levelled off and now begins to gather momentum is a good time for Government to address this in election year.

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  53. hj (6,607 comments) says:

    Which does raise the interesting possibility that NZF and CCCP are chasing after the evil bigoted elderly and ratbag vote in competition and may cancel each other out.

    DPF: Off topic 20 demerits

    ……..
    It was supposed to be a response to Chardonnay Guy: (as above). The smart phone doesn’t easily past where you want it.
    …..
    in case you don’t get it I’m saying NZ First is pilloried by National, Labour, Green and the media because they are anti immigration. They therefore hold a

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  54. Kimbo (696 comments) says:

    “A couple of commentators above dealt with this by criticising the author yet there is no argument that the Legal Profession had a fall in income last year where other professions traded and occupations from memory all increased.”

    And you consider this a bad thing?!

    At the risk of colluding with you in your thread-jacking, bring it on, I say!

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  55. hj (6,607 comments) says:

    Therefore NZ First are a threat to the political elite as they hold a sword over their head*.

    * the sword being the truth (as determined by the *independant*Savings Working Group.

    Don’t suppose being cslled traitors went down well. :oops:

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  56. smttc (710 comments) says:

    You are still trolling. The topic isn’t NZ First’s position on immigration or whether the party is despised by other parties. If you don’t have a view on the OP or the subsequent comments then just shut up.

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  57. KevinH (1,142 comments) says:

    Despite their differences Jim Bolger and Winston Peters formed New Zealand’s first coalition government in 1996 which serves to prove that if NZ First finds itself in the role of Kingmaker again then it would be wise and prudent to consider them again as a potential coalition partner in the 2014 government.
    Contrary to DPF’s view it is better to be in power than on the opposition benches, and if a deal can be done, then in John Key’s parlance, do it.
    The National Party are still polling in the 40′s and will be the most significant party in 2014 representing the largest block of voters, it is possible that they may not have to enter into a coalition with NZ First, however the pragmatic position is that National should keep all it’s options open.

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  58. Viking2 (11,220 comments) says:

    Like I said kimbo a big dog will piss on anything.
    The post was more about opening the discussions on issues rather then doing back room deals at the behest of the Americans who are fast becoming the most controlled lot of citizens in the free world.

    If you can’t look at the merits of the idea’s and see the future then perhaps you could refrain from commenting until you have something decent to add to the discussion.

    No doubt your political focus will cause you to be vitriolic some more.

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  59. Viking2 (11,220 comments) says:

    All the opinion.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11187659

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  60. Alan (1,073 comments) says:

    “The question really is can you be a Minister outside Cabinet on the basis of agreeing to abstain on confidence and supply. Historically not, but it is probably not constitutionally barred”

    Ministers hold their authority from the crown not from parliament. The GG appoints a PM on the basis that he can command a majority in the house, the PM then appoints ministers.

    I’m not aware of a legal requirement for ministers to even be MPs. The executive gathers power from the crown, not from parliament, as long as it has money. IIRC, primary legislation can be created via in order in council under royal prerogative, without the need for an act of parliament.

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  61. Elaycee (4,322 comments) says:

    Sheesh, hj – why don’t you just quit while you’re behind? :P

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  62. Scott Chris (5,947 comments) says:

    My guess is Colin-bob-each-way-Craig will release some anti-immigrant rhetoric in the near future which will seriously eat into Peters’ support base so I doubt he’ll reach the 5% threshold. With any luck Peters and Craig will cancel each other out.

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  63. Shazzadude (516 comments) says:

    “Three way? Unless National’s support completely collapses, the only way the Left can win is via a Labour-Greens-NZ First-Mana-Maori coalition.”

    Labour/Greens combined need around 48% to rule alone, and they’ve polled that high on numerous occasions over the last term.

    “Why do you think the Nats are making cooing noises to Colin Craig?
    its because the more they boost his profile,the more votes he will bleed from Winston, the Conservative Party and NZ First have vast areas of overlap, so by helping them National are effectively putting a lid on NZ First’s vote and lowering the chances of him getting over 5%”

    Though Key and others are hoping for overlap between the two, it has to be remembered that both parties managed to achieve an impressive number of votes last election which would suggest they have their own constituencies.

    “Ruling out working with NZF is a risk, but I completely agree it is a worthwhile one. It also has the benefit of seriously denting NZF’s chance of reaching the 5% threshold.”

    It worked back in 2008, but it failed spectacularly in 2011. They would be silly to try this again.

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  64. hj (6,607 comments) says:

    ChardonnayGuy (877 comments) says:
    January 17th, 2014 at 9:23 am
    Which does raise the interesting possibility that NZF and CCCP are chasing after the evil bigoted elderly and ratbag vote in competition and may cancel each other out.
    ………………….
    The “evil bigoted elderly” have lived through the best times NZ ever had with a much higher standard of living and lower population. Ref The Half Gallon Quarter Acre Pavlova Paradise.

    The Savings Working Group say the policy choice of increased population “appears to have worked almost directly against the (economic) adjustments NZ need to make and we might have been better with a lower level of net migration”.
    The Australian Productivity Commission concluded there was little if any discernible benefit to Australians from immigration; it had all been captured by the migrants.
    etc, etc
    You wont hear National, Labour or Greens say that. The Savings working group report is an embarrassment to the political elite.
    The ratbags are the realestate interests.

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  65. peterwn (3,192 comments) says:

    Winston and NZF will be a poisoned chalice for whoever rinks from it.

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  66. hj (6,607 comments) says:

    Scott Chris
    Colin-bob-each-way-Craig will release some anti-immigrant rhetoric
    ……
    you on the other hand would release some pro immigrant (growth is good) common sense?

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  67. hj (6,607 comments) says:

    Winston and NZF will be a poisoned chalice for whoever rinks from it.
    ………..
    Just because you have National. Labour the Green Party and the media opposed doesn’t mean there isn’t a groundswell of support out there. Why has NZ First sat on the Savings Working Group Report? Could it be they have been doing deals? Afterall it is potential coalition partners who would be embarrassed.

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  68. Pete George (23,165 comments) says:

    It worked back in 2008, but it failed spectacularly in 2011. They would be silly to try this again.

    Who is successfully Governing? Doesn’t seem to have been that spectacular a failure, and NZF has helped reduce Labour’s potency.

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  69. Than (439 comments) says:

    Did they try this in 2011? My recollection is that John Key was far less direct in 2011, mostly dodging the question rather than the unequivocal No he gave in 2008.

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  70. Steve Wrathall (256 comments) says:

    ” You don’t go from say 34% to 46% in one term…” Really? A 12% rise hasn’t happened before?
    Labour 96-99 +11%
    National 02-05 +18%
    Just sayin’

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  71. Shazzadude (516 comments) says:

    He dodged the question until about 9 months out from the election, where he repeated his 2008 line right through to the election. On Monday of election week, in response to their internal polling showing NZF on 6%, he went a step further and delivered a scare-mongering speech about the perils of voting for Winston.

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  72. Shazzadude (516 comments) says:

    Pete George “Who is successfully Governing? Doesn’t seem to have been that spectacular a failure, and NZF has helped reduce Labour’s potency.”

    It is spectacular, considering they went from an almost-assured outright majority, to now hanging by the skin of their teeth with two minor party MPs, both of whom have faced their own scandals.

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  73. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    @ Than – yeah; Key was really indecisive about Peters in 2011:

    Prime Minister John Key says he would rather lose power than work with NZ First leader Winston Peters.

    His comments came yesterday as he announced that November 26 will be the date of this year’s general election.

    The poll and the accompanying referendum on MMP will come about five weeks after the end of the Rugby World Cup.

    Mr Key said although it could cost National the election, he would not work with Mr Peters. It was up to voters to decide who they wanted in government and he wanted his position to be clear.

    “If Winston Peters holds the balance of power it will be a Phil Goff-led Labour government.”

    The surprise announcement – almost 10 months before the election – is a break from the usual tradition of waiting until the last minute to reveal the date.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10703780

    Seems pretty black and white and “direct” to me, and enough people agreed with his stance to give National the largest-ever party vote recorded under MMP. Here’s hoping that he does exactly the same this year.

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  74. Kimbo (696 comments) says:

    “The post was more about opening the discussions on issues rather then doing back room deals at the behest of the Americans who are fast becoming the most controlled lot of citizens in the free world.

    If you can’t look at the merits of the idea’s and see the future then perhaps you could refrain from commenting until you have something decent to add to the discussion.”

    Actually Viking2, I thought I did you the courtesy of considering your post, and gave a good critique of why this guy is a latter-day version of the children’s crusade, and why his ideas were not worthy of serious contemplation. A suggestion: If you don’t like the response, don’t post it in the first place.

    But if you want to go following egotistical self-indulgent flakes unacquainted with the facts of human nature on the assumption that it will lead somewhere productive, far be it from me to stop you…

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  75. Scott Chris (5,947 comments) says:

    you on the other hand would release some pro immigrant (growth is good) common sense?

    hj, I think the only problem a well thought out and welcoming immigration policy poses is the inevitable paranoid domestic reaction it invokes, which is readily taken advantage of by unscrupulous politicians such as Winston Peters.

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  76. hj (6,607 comments) says:

    hj, I think the only problem a well thought out and welcoming immigration policy poses is the inevitable paranoid domestic reaction it invokes, which is readily taken advantage of by unscrupulous politicians such as Winston Peters.


    The paranoid domestic reaction includes people like Paul Krugman, the Australian Productivity Commission, the Savings Working Group?

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  77. hj (6,607 comments) says:

    @ Scott Chris
    sounds like you think ordinary people shouldn’t have a say (on immigration). Helen Clark/Dick Prebble should?

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  78. Than (439 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock wrote;

    @ Than – yeah; Key was really indecisive about Peters in 2011:

    I stand corrected. My apologies to Pete George and Shazzadude.

    I had a memory of Key being evasive about a possible deal with Peters (and being disappointed in him because of it), and for some reason I thought it was during the lead up to the 2011 election. My bad.

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  79. RF (1,322 comments) says:

    Winston he who is height challenged should not be involved with National when they win their 3 term. He is a toxic person who is well beyond his use by date.

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  80. adze (1,940 comments) says:

    Absolutely agree DPF, I’ve said all along that Key should maintain a no-Winston policy, even at the risk of going into opposition. Better to be defeated with some honour than to let that cancerous rat into government again.

    Now that Boscawen is running for ACT party leadership (and CCCP with at least a sniff of a chance), Election 2014 is shaping up to be an interesting contest.

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  81. G152 (208 comments) says:

    Peters should refer to his sign.
    If he can see over the scampi

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  82. awryly (14 comments) says:

    Winston Peters: Klingmaker
    (to the tune of Good King Wenceslas)

    THEN
    (1996)
    Winston Peters cast around
    Meaning to get even
    O what goodies there abound
    Much to set me beamin’.
    Shall I go to left or right?
    Shall I go at all?
    Shall I play a bashful game?
    And drive them up the wall?

    Give me gold and give me myrrh
    Let me be the Treasurer
    If you don’t I’ll make a fuss -
    yee Xmas turkeys full of trust.
    I’m a leader through and through
    I’m the man that’s good for you
    I’ve a stately vision too -
    and a tube of coalition glue.

    Three years on I aim to be
    Everything you thought of me
    Saving this and salving that
    from the throne on which I sat.
    MMP’s been good to me,
    I’ll be good to MMP,
    ‘Til I abandon MMP,
    Or MMP abandons me.

    LATER
    (1999)
    Some may say I’ve come unstuck
    That’s not my point of view
    My mates conspired to sabotage
    The gluten in my glue
    I’ll be back and when I am
    I’ll contemplate precautions
    To mix, I hope, my members in
    more fortunate proportions.

    Enough said?
    - See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/01/22/does-winston-want-to-go-home/#comment-183463

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