Shipley on Peters

Interesting observation from the Espiner interview:

She also has some fascinating observations about working with Winston Peters, who may again be a key coalition player after the coming election.

Shipley, who sacked him as Treasurer in 1998 as the first MMP government fell apart over the sale of Wellington Airport, offers bouquets and brickbats.

Winston could have been Prime Minister but for want of himself. His complexity often got ahead of his capability. Watching him on a good day he was brilliant,” she says.

He was an 85 per cent outstanding leader. And the 15 per cent absolutely crippled him because he would get so myopically preoccupied with a diversion that it took away his capability and intent on the main goal.”

Shipley also says that Peters, Deputy Prime Minister from 1996 to 1998, was excellent at absorbing information but sometimes simply hadn’t done the reading.

“I would make a personal judgement as he came into my office as to whether the envelope with the papers in it was either open or closed and it often would tell me the extent to which he had read what we were then going to discuss. I learned to both respect and manage it and on those days the meetings were short.”

Very astute insights.

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