Winston fires – and shoots his own foot off

May 14th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

NZ First MP Winston Peters was booted out of Parliament after claiming Justice Minister failed to declare travel costs paid for by the Chinese government.

For days, Peters has been claiming he has a smoking gun that would see Prime Minister John Key sack Collins.

But in farcical scenes during Question Time, it took several attempts for him to make the allegations, as he was blocked by Speaker David Carter.

His stumbling caused Key to remark: ”I don’t understand the information that the member has got or the allegation… if the member could just speak a bit more clearly it might help everyone including the media.”

Stumbling is a polite term for it.

Eventually Peters tabled a cabinet report which he says show Collins failed to list ”substantial” travel, accommodation and other costs met by China in the MPs register of pecuniary interests. He said Key knew about the contributions. 

This is hilarious. The revelation that the host Government picks up internal travel costs of visiting Ministers, is about as much as a surprise that you get wet if it is raining.

It isn’t entirely clear if Ministers need to declare every overseas trip they undertake. Standing Orders say:

the information referred to in subclause (1)(a) does not have to be included in the return if the travel costs or accommodation costs (as the case may be) were paid by … any government, parliament, or international parliamentary organisation, if the primary purpose of the travel was in connection with an official parliamentary visit.

It is best to err on the side of caution and include all trips, but any omission is a minor issue. The trips are announced publicly when undertaken. Absolutely no one is surprised that the host Government picks up internal travel costs.

Several articles on Winston’s misfire.

Jane Clifton writes:

It was less the promised “smoking gun” than a dribbling water pistol, but Winston Peters made sure to get himself turfed out of Parliament yesterday to ensure his allegations about Judith Collins made the news one way or another. …

John Armstrong writes:

‘And pick up your smoking gun on the way out.” It was quite simply the killer interjection; one containing just the right amount of sarcasm to really get under the skin of its target. Or – more accurately in this case – loser.

You do not usually associate that word with Winston Peters. But his promise to dish more dirt – sorry, fresh information – on Judith Collins, such that she would be “gone by Monday”, was a dismal failure in Parliament yesterday.

It must have been especially galling for Peters that the paralysing interjection came from his one-time New Zealand First colleague, Tau Henare. The pair fell out when the National-New Zealand First coalition government fell apart in 1998.

Best quip of the month.

Andrea Vance reports on why Winston was slurring so much. he had the flu!

NZ First leader Winston Peters has blamed the flu, after he turned in a shambling performance in Parliament yesterday and MPs questioned his health.

The veteran politician, 69, displayed shaking hands and slurred speech as he attempted to catch out Prime Minister John Key with new allegations about Justice Minister Judith Collins.

And at a media conference after he was ejected from the House, Peters was sweating profusely, wiping his face with a handkerchief.

A spokeswoman later said that he was suffering from the flu.

The flu can be very nasty and take weeks to recover from. It’s not something that disappears in 24 hours. So it will be interesting to see if Winston has recovered today.

Tags: ,

42 Responses to “Winston fires – and shoots his own foot off”

  1. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    “The flu can …. take weeks to recover from.”

    Or even longer, if one tops it up each evening.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    The venal Peters was pissed drunk. After such lamentable performance it’s time for him to call it a day.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Ed Snack (1,873 comments) says:

    The shaking hands though, can be a bad sign that. Is this Winnie’s last campaign ?

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    We’ll miss Tau Henare.

    Vote: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. backster (2,172 comments) says:

    Could Tony Ryall tell that in accord with Government policy a person of his advanced age doesn’t have to pay for an influenza prevention innoculation.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Stamper (32 comments) says:

    He was shaking because he had just read the Winstoned First 3.7% result from the Stuff Poll. Long may it continue – last campaign – we hope.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Robertson was trying to claim that a Ministerial visit is distinctly different from a Parliamentary visit. The Pecuniary Register Rules and Cabinet Manual are quoted as applying to Parliamentary travel. Can anyone clarify this?

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    Winston has never graced the doors of my establishment, but I have heard on the wire that he is especially fond of a drop of single malt. OK maybe more than a drop.

    I didn’t see the footage to see whether he was pissed or merely enduring a bad flu. Though if it were the flu, it certainly wasn’t the most courteous thing to attempt to spread that flu through all of Parliament and the press gallery.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    Did Winston get his ‘flu shot this winter – he is entitled to a free one being over 65.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    The ‘flu might explain some of yesterday’s symptoms but it doesn’t explain why he talked up and promised a big hit for several days and then carried it out.

    Misjudgement? He should know as well as anyone what works and what doesn’t, he’s had plenty of experience with hits and misses.

    The NZ First MPs looked very happy with what was unfolding in from of them but they may not have had any say on what happened.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. wf (442 comments) says:

    Brown bottle flu. It always seems to attack at the beginning of the week .

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    As Gordon Campbell so accurately noted in an article this morning, Winston Peters is a sweaty, tremulous, slurring mess who could probably do with a bit of stress leave himself.

    Vote: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Ive being watching him go gradually down hill.
    Thats what you get from the lifestyle he leads.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    I didnt see any sniffling or sneezing to indicate the flu, i just saw an irrational old man.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    We should not be poking fun.
    He is clearly very unwell and has been for quite some time.
    You would think a friend or family member would step in, tap him on the shoulder and take him away to rest or dry out.
    Nobody wants to see him drop dead in the house

    Vote: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    Back in the day, there was the kind of flu that bosses, when staff didn’t turn up on Monday, used to refer to as “brewer’s asthma”; just sayin’ ;-)

    Seriously though, I’m wondering if Peters, like Piri Weepu a few weeks ago, has had a minor stroke. He exhibited all the signs yesterday, and his lifestyle isn’t exactly healthy.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    He is not suffering from flu folks. He is suffering from dementia – “a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning” – fits perfectly. I urge David Cunliffe to take Peters to a specialist.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    The flu, or a heart attack?

    Funny shit by Tau Henare! :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    Think of the marketing opportunity.

    A brand of whisky know as “The Flu”.

    You never have to lie to your constituents, voters or boss again, just say “I am suffering from The Flu”.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock and Sir Cullen
    Yes i think something serious is going on, his speech has being deteriorating for about a year now.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Nookin (3,344 comments) says:

    David @ 1.24

    Robertson’s credibility took a dive when he tried to argue that identical milk from a different supplier was held up while Oriveda’s milk passed on by. He really is scraping the bottom of the barrel with the argument that there is a distinction between ministerial and parliamentary travel. The register of pecuniary interests puts an obligation on a “member”. A minister is a “member”. There is no distinction between ministerial or Parliamentary travel. The obligation relates to travel as a “member”.

    Although the Cabinet Manual has more extensive obligations relating to ministerial responsibilities where there is a potential conflict of interest, the manual specifically refers to the obligations to complete the register of pecuniary interests – without qualification or amendment. It does not exclude the exemption provided in the register (set out below). The obligation is the same. The exemption is the same. Robertson knows that. He is now being deceitful.

    (2) The information referred to in subclause (1)(a) does not have to be included in the return if the travel costs or accommodation costs (as the case may be) were paid by the following or any combination of the following:

    (a) the member:

    (b) the member’s spouse or domestic partner:

    (c) any parent, child, stepchild, foster-child, or grandchild of the member:

    (d) the Crown:

    (e) any government, parliament, or international parliamentary organisation, if the primary purpose of the travel was in connection with an official parliamentary visit.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Promised: Smoking gun.

    Delivered: A half-hearted squirt with a water pistol. Which missed the PM and caught someone sitting behind him. Who didn’t mind because the water was warm, and water pistols make everyone smile.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    Peters is clearly not a well man. Whether this is caused by the flu, a minor stroke, or the booze (or perhaps a combination of all three) it’s no laughing matter.

    He needs to see a doctor, or perhaps even a specialist. I’ve no time for Peters, but right now I feel sorry for him. He needs help.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    I find it all rather sad that a man who was once a respected MP is now the subject of derision.

    Agree with an earlier suggestion: A family member should take Peters aside and gently tell him the time has come for him to pack up and retire to the north.

    Before it’s too late.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Elaycee
    Has he got any family? Isnt he seeing a somewhat high profile NZer?
    His brother in Whangarei i dont think would be much help from what ive heard of him

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Elaycee – I agree with your sentiment but I’m not sure that taking Peters aside and gently telling him what to do has a high chance of success.

    davidp – I didn’t see anyone behind him laughing. Check out the pictures here.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    WOW, speculations on Winston’s health change everything. I hardly think its the flu (more lies from NZF) as its been clear for some time Winston’s health has been deteriorating.

    Meanwhile there’s Colin Craig suffering NZHerald speculation that he’s TOO lean and fit. Chalk and Cheese.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11227768

    If you were looking to secure a C.Right govt., would you go for a shaking 69 year old or a fit lean 46 year old who’s just lost 30kg?

    Choices choices.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @martinh: I thought it was well known Peters has family in the north. And two children from a previous marriage. Plus a partner. Between them, I genuinely hope he is getting help. Because based on what I’ve seen recently, I think he needs it.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    iMP, interesting comparison, yet both seek out spiritual assistance.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Brendan Horan seems to be keen on some payback in his last few months in Parliament.

    Independent MP Brendan Horan says Winston Peters must come clean about his own pecuniary interests and his own use of taxpayer money before making spurious allegations against other people.

    The 5 year old bay mare Bellazeel is owned by Mr Peters and others, and has a successful racing career. So far in the 2013/14 season from seven starts, the horse has had two wins and a third place, earning prize-money of $20,175. Mr Peters has conspicuously failed to declare the horse in his pecuniary interests return.

    “Mr Peters needs to take an honest look in the mirror. He is a prime example of why our Parliament needs to be subject to the Official Information Act,” Mr Horan says.

    Brendan Horan says he is also concerned that the New Zealand First Leader could be misusing taxpayer funds. “I am concerned at reports I am hearing regarding overseas junkets, use of contractors and consultants, and other serious mis-spending. Certainly Mr Peters refuses to follow normal practice and report to his caucus on how the Leaders Budget – some $2.5 million in the current Parliament – is being used. I challenge him to open the books so that taxpayers can be sure the money is being used only for proper purposes.

    “Real parties are open with their MPs about what funding is being used for and allow them to bid for funding for projects. That doesn’t happen in Winston’s party where Mr Peters like Smaug secretively guards the budget as if it was his own personal treasure,” said Brendan Horan.

    http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/its-time-winston-peters-come-clean-horan/5/190239

    @katieabradford

    Winston Peters insists he longer owns racehorse Bellazeel & so doesn’t have to declare it. But racing websites still list him as an owner.

    I wonder if he owned any racehorses when he was Minister of Racing.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Bill Ted (93 comments) says:

    Winston has owned horses for years. No doubt when he was Minister probably had a trust structure or shifted ownership on paper to his friends. But looks like his lifestyle has caught up with him. He doesn’t look well at all. If he wasn’t drunk, then something isn’t right and we might be seeing the beginning of the end now. I feel a bit sorry for the guy.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “Peters is clearly not a well man. Whether this is caused by the flu, a minor stroke, or the booze (or perhaps a combination of all three) it’s no laughing matter.

    He needs to see a doctor, or perhaps even a specialist. I’ve no time for Peters, but right now I feel sorry for him. He needs help.”

    agree.

    wouldnt be good to see him really go down hill in public. not sure he has the cash to maintain his lifestyle without being in parliament though..

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    That’s yesterday’s problem solved anyway Pete; Winston’s racehorse ate his smoking gun :D

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Dime

    Peters may not have the cash to maintain his lifestyle if he exists the house, frankly I could not care less. The minute he pays back the $158,000 (plus interest) that he owes us the sooner I might start having a bit of sympathy for the man. And I differ from you in this respect, I do want to see Peters go downhill in public, any man who has happily used privilege to destroy the life’s of so many others deserves no less than a public humiliation.

    As for his “flu”, I am no doctor but I do wonder if what we are seeing with the shakes, heavy sweating and slurred speech are classic signs of alcoholism or (and admittedly a lot less likely) the signs of Parkinsons.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Sorry Winnie, but your Horse has bolted.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Kimbo (934 comments) says:

    I feel a bit sorry for the guy.

    And that is the initial reaction of a normal, fair-minded person…until you remember the innocent non-political non-combatants (businessmen, public servants, racial minorities) Peters has made a career of whipping up witch-hunts over

    …and you realise this is what justice will increasingly look like if he chooses to stay in Parliament after 2014 with diminishing faculties.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    See:
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/billion-dollars-extra-expenditure-no-lolly-scramble-pm-ck-155948

    The headline reads:
    Collins must be holding something over the PM — Peters

    Seems to be a URL slipup.

    For once I agree with Winston but for the wrong reasons.
    1. Judith is too valuable to ‘let go’. In any case her ‘sin’ is minor stuff.
    2. Letting her go would be a big morale booster for the Left and debilitating for the Nats. Those who want to see her go are her political enemies – John Key will gain no votes and lose very few if any votes by keeping her on.

    When she is back in the House – ‘Hell hath no fury as a woman’s scorn’.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    How much ‘travel, accommodation and other costs’ did Winston receive from the Dear Leader during his trip to N.Korea when he was in govt? Booze, meals..hostess perhaps etc? He he declare them all down to the last cent?? Is he an agent for N.Korea!?? He must resign!

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    The x minister of racing failed to declare an interest in a race horse …. It’s baseless allegations I tell you … lol.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    Why. Why do the media give that old drunken fool oxygen? How many times must we endure his endless lies and bluster?

    Please, let him retire to a snooty retirement home in the Mount, where he can regale the other residents of his daring exposure of corruption among the hired help.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    So… Did Winston, who hasn’t yet paid back his $158,000 to tax payers, pay for the race horse or was it part of the deal he got for the tax cuts the racing industry got in 2006 ?

    See: Peters’ 2006 Budget Speech

    Now we have a party on that side which is obsessed with the mantra of tax cuts.

    Well there are tax cuts in this budget – and significant ones at that – and they are going to the racing industry.

    New Zealand First has delivered on meaningful tax cuts again – just like we did with $1.1 billion in 1998.

    These are important changes which will benefit not only the racing industry, but the wider economy.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. deadrightkev (469 comments) says:

    Winston has been seemingly much more pissed than this in the house. I recall one or two video clips of him completely slobbering all over the place making no sense at all.

    I would like to see Winston fail and before the election. He is a charlatan and needs to go.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote