What a dreadfully untidy way to leave the Beehive.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has headed to Auckland to prepare for the birth of her baby, which is due on Sunday.
She has spent the past few days trying to allay fears stirred up by National about how reliable Winston Peters will be in charge of the Government in her place.
But no sooner does she leave the capital than news breaks that Peters is suing the Government.
Peters is suing the Ministry of Social Development, plus it its chief executive, Brendan Boyle, and State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes for $450,000 for breach of privacy – relating to his belief over how details of his pension overpayment were leaked to journalists.
Effectively he is seeking $450,000 from taxpayers. Yes an Acting Prime Minister who is suing his own Government demanding $450,000 from them. His Attorney General has to defend the public service against the Acting PM.
Mickey Mouse to put it mildly.
The really stunning aspect of the new action is its timing so close to the date he is due to become Acting Prime Minister for six weeks.
Even if he had a water-tight case – and there is no evidence that he has – wouldn’t he delay it for the sake of a peaceful transition?
The untidiness in handing over to Peters stretches to the Three Strikes debacle as well.
To be fair to Peters, most of the blame lies with Justice Minister Andrew Little who has had to cancel a planned Cabinet paper at the behest of Peters.
Yep Strike 1 for Little.
Peters takes over from Ardern tomorrow in terms of answering questions in the House and thanks to him they will come armed and loaded.
National will be praying it is a sign of things to come.
A messy start to the regency.