Jo Moir writes:
Picture a world not too dissimilar to this one where Winston Peters is the prime minister.
In about seven weeks’ time, providing the prime minister’s baby arrives on its due date and Jacinda Ardern is able to work right up to it as she plans, then that will be the beginning of a new era.
But how different will it really be?
The reality is Peters won’t wield all that much power in the role – Ardern will be busy but not unreachable and has already signalled she will be in regular contact with Peters during that time.
Moir is right that Peters won’t actually be in charge. He will just be the monkey and Grant Robertson the organ grinder.
Peters’ job will simply be to do a weekly press conference and chair Cabinet (and all major decisions will be made before Cabinet).
Regardless of the title of Acting PM, Peters is leader of a party that got just 7% of the vote. He will not get to make any decisions. If any actual decisions are needed, they will be made by the Labour Party leadership.
Now Ardern will be contactable, but even if she isn’t Grant Robertson will be the de facto Acting Labour Party Leader. All major decisions will be referred to him. In theory it should be Kelvin Davis, but we all know that won’t happen.
So Grant will actually be the one running the country while Jacinda is looking after the sprog. Winston will merely get to do the weekly press conference.