GUEST BLOG: Te Reo Putake – Will Winston Put NZ First?

By   /   May 16, 2017  /   27 Comments

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One of the great conundrums of Kiwi politics is the Peters problem. Unless there is a massive drop in votes for National, Labour will need NZ First’s assistance to form the next government. And that support will almost certainly come at the expense of the Greens, who are likely to be sidelined as part of any coalition arrangement.

One of the great conundrums of Kiwi politics is the Peters problem. Unless there is a massive drop in votes for National, Labour will need NZ First’s assistance to form the next government. And that support will almost certainly come at the expense of the Greens, who are likely to be sidelined as part of any coalition arrangement.

But can we trust Peters to go with Labour?

Well, the answer is an unequivocal no. Winston will do what’s best for Winston. He’s already let the country down once in a similar scenario.

In 1996, NZ First hinted broadly that they would look to bring the National Government down. After an arrogant and lengthy display of gamesmanship, Winston eventually announced he would instead prop the Nats up.

However, the circumstances are different these days. NZ First’s policies are so in tune with Labour’s they could have been spawned in the same think tanks. Winston Peters and Andrew Little seem to get along fine and I’m told the back benches of both parties have a useful working relationship in opposition.

I’m also firmly of the belief that Winston still wants revenge for National’s successful campaign in 2008 to remove NZ First from Parliament. I’m sure Winston would have loved to have been the one to end John Key’s political career, but that opportunity has gone. I reckon he’ll settle for burying Bill English instead.

So, should we help NZ First?

Well, no.


Andrew Little is a great deal maker and superb team builder. He’s shown that as a unionist and as a politician. However, if NZ First out poll the Greens, even marginally, he’ll have the upper hand in negotiations.

Don’t think it can’t happen, folks. Any deterioration of National’s vote is likely to head Winston’s way. NZF12%, Greens 11 is not an unlikely outcome. NZ First now have a core vote of around 8-9% and siphoning 2% from the Nats and 1% from Labour is entirely possible.

And, of course, the fundamental risk remains that Winston will go the Tory way. And even if he goes with Labour, sidelining the Greens will lead to a weaker Little led Government. Our damaged country really needs the Greens to be in a position to lead the rescue of our environment. Ministerial posts outside cabinet won’t really do that.

Winston told me recently that he didn’t trust the Greens.

“They’ll sell you down the river for a snail” was his withering summary.

If he sticks to that cynical approach, then coalition building is going to be mighty difficult for the left. My advice is don’t help NZ First and certainly don’t vote for them.

However, if you can influence a conservative voter to switch from National to NZ First, go for it. The worse National do, the better.

If the nightmare scenario of a Nat/NZ First government actually happens, lets just hope it end in tears when Winston gets sick of playing second fiddle in English’s orchestra.

One thing about Winston; he demands absolute loyalty from his MP’s and staff. However, he rarely feels that the same standard applies to himself when he’s in Government.

Whether he goes with Labour or the Tories, Winston wins.

The question is whether the rest of us lose.

Te Reo Putake – Socialist, vegetarian, contrarian and footballer, Te Reo Putake was until recently the wittiest, most engaging and most infuriating writer at The Standard blog.

TRP intends to continue battling for the battlers and kicking against the pricks in real life and here at the Daily Blog.



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  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell says:


  2. roy says:

    Nice job getting a post on here, Te Reo. This site is becoming more respectable, by and by.

    • Te Reo Putake says:

      Cheers, Roy! It’s great to be part of such a fine stable of writers and I’ll be contributing regularly.

  3. Andrew says:

    “Andrew Little is a great deal maker and superb team builder.”

    You guys really crack me up! 🙂

  4. Labour is heading for a disaster possibly as big as 2014.

    Now I will be very happy if they pick up votes, but Labour is going to need New Zealand First’s help whether people like it or not.

    And there are certain red lines that Winston has drawn in the sand, which National refuse to comply with.

    Whether you like it or not, National might be in the drivers seat but its fourth term election chances have a gun pointed at its head. And the party holding the gun is not Labour.

    It is New Zealand First.

    • bert says:

      And at present our country is ruled by the law of the gun.

      “Shoot off at the lip and you will be executed”

      Alfred Ngaro

  5. Strypey says:

    This is why I’m actually quite pleased to see TOP running. Hopefully they will draw off a bunch of the socially-liberal, cyano-tory (or as Bomber calls them “bluegreen”) voters that would otherwise have to swallow a dead rat and vote for a party with an anti-abortion Catholic as leader, or swallow a dead porcupine and vote for whatever Frankenparty comes out of the ACT-UnitedFuture merger when that zombie Dunne finally stops twitching.

  6. mary_a says:

    At least here at TDB within reasonably defined boundaries and standards, the majority of posters from all sides of the spectrum get a fair go from the editorial staff. I think that’s what gives this blog site its point of difference. It’s open and it’s fair.

    Welcome TRP to The Daily Blog. Great post as usual. Looking forward to reading more of your posts over here.

    Winston will go with what’s best for Winston and nothing else. He has a track record of playing games with the electorate and any politician who won’t state his preference before the election, in my very humble opinion, doesn’t deserve a vote at all!

    Voting should not be based on a gamble, like a roll of the dice … will he or won’t he … what will he do? To vote under those conditions, is very foolish indeed.

    I say if in doubt, leave it out and that’s exactly what I will be doing this election, by not voting for Winston Peters/NZ First, even though he does have what seems like an efficient team behind him. But he can’t be trusted and that’s it!

    • Tom Gardner says:

      Winston seems to be the only one paying attention to those of us who live outside of Auck/Well/ChCh. The election may be my first time for NZ First

  7. WILD KATIPO says:

    Hi Te Reo Putake , some wise words there .

    Its frustrating, because I would like to see a Labour led govt , and also the Greens and NZ First onboard, – both of them. Equally as much.

    I can see Little and Peters having an easy rapport,… I cannot say the same for Peters and English.

    English is definitely ideologically driven with his neo liberalism, and in English’s case its quite extreme , he will go as far as he can in pushing unpopular policy’s – just short of having large scale public dissension.

    Whereas Peters seems as though he’s in favour more with our old social democratic principles ( pre 1984 era ) . And the way Little and Labour are heading over housing, speculation , phasing our negative gearing , and many other socially equitable policy’s,… I’d say they have far more in common than Peters would with National hands down.

    Its all a bit up in the air at the moment.

  8. Once ... upon a time says:

    What Winnie should be working on if he’s to attract trust BEFORE an election is to categorically restate his bottom lines.
    There have been a few – I think one was his opposition to the TPPA.
    Others concern regional development (and one can’t but forget his stance on everything from reinstatement of the Gisborne rail line, to extending Toki to Taupo to various others that are actually ‘Green’ in value.
    Really it just comes down to the question of baubles – as defined and portrayed in our dysfunctional MSM (as IF they had a handle on things).
    I’m not ready to trust him yet, especially until he recognises various issues on immigration – such as NZ’s responsibility in rectifying our part in the slave trade and corrupt practices that exist in the education sector and the politicisation of our pubic service. (No typo – because it involves sucking various politicians diks in order to maintain ridiculously high salaries following party political [Ministerial – crony] appointments to senior positions.
    There’s one going on right now involving a fraudster and ‘former Auditor General’ and NZTA master of the Universe.

    We’ll see in the coming months.

    I STILL can’t understand why opposition parties don’t see public service reform as a vote winner ….. Christ! I’ve got enough examples to sink a fucking boat

  9. Tiger Mountain says:

    welcome TRP! some people like to bag the irascible Bomber Bradbury, but you know what–the Daily Blog is a great omnibus platform–with some seriously good writers and contributors that Martyn’s efforts have fostered

    The Standard is now a shadow of its original self by comparison, it became virtually unreadable during the US Election campaign and has not improved, I am done there, I told Lprent to not bother banning me after his last unprovoked attack on one of my posts, because I had banned him!

    anyway on your piece, elections are an exam for the working class did Lenin say? the problem is the NZ working class has major divisions and barely realises it is a class–self employed/Uber etc., SMEs, precariat, service sector and carers, and contract based and unpaid interns do not a unified fightback make–yet anyway

    Winston will do what he does, but even if he goes with the Nats it will destabilise them to a point if he sticks to NZ First policy as stated

    • Te Reo Putake says:

      Kia ora, Tiger Mountain and thanks for your kind words!

      I always appreciate conversing with folk who quote Lenin, particularly when I know they understand what he was writing about. The world would be a different place if he’d live longer and the revolution was spared the excesses of Stalin. Not saying we would have been spared neo-liberalism in the west, but rather that the socialist alternative might not have been so badly tarnished.

      There’s not much I can say about TS that you haven’t already said. These days it feels like it’s been joint edited by Grandpa Simpson and his neighbour the crazy cat lady.

      Regarding Winston, I do think he’s got a dilemma; while he’s remarkably fit and sharp now, he’s probably going to have to hand the reigns over to some one else sooner rather than later. If he goes with the Nats, the backlash at the following election might end NZ First before he has a chance to model a successor.

      I suspect he wants his legacy to be a thriving party, not a heap of political ashes. So his best bet might well be going with Labour and getting some policy runs on the board. Then a transition to elder statesman in the style of Lee Kwan Yew might be on and he can semi-retire up north knowing his party will have a future.

      I might add that similar thoughts are probably going through Peter Dunne’s perfectly coiffured head, which might explain the rumours of a tie up with ACT.

      We’re inevitably coming to the end of an era, TM. Of the two, Peters and Dunne, I know which one I’ll miss most.

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        Welcome TRP,

        You have great subject here.

        I agree with most here as the great thing about Winnie is that he moderates other Political parties.

        I came back from 11yrs in the US/Canada in 1998 and saw a rather tame National administration on it’s way out.

        Winnie did a lot to moderate that Party before he skipped ship during the early 1990’s and sat as a cross bench MP so he will always be happy there.

        NZ First have some excellent People and a strong social policy platform to get along with Labour also

        We need the changes to be swift as they take over this year and fix the cracks this toxic Nactional bandits have left behind.

        I would like them to setup a panel of experts to dismantle all Nactionals policy planks around forcing all essential services like rail, health, education and electricity and water services all be returned to the community from where they were paid for by succeeding generations again for a start.

        • Jack Ramaka says:

          It’s not cracks that need to be fixed it is huge ravines and collapsed soak holes.

        • WILD KATIPO says:

          ” I would like them to setup a panel of experts to dismantle all Nactionals policy planks around forcing all essential services like rail, health, education and electricity and water services all be returned to the community from where they were paid for by succeeding generations again for a start.”

          Goodness gracious I’ve just got to add my voice to that and say Hear Hear !!! , CLEANGREEN .

          Absolutely 100%

          To reverse the theft of the Commons wealth – that wealth which was stolen from us by stealth and deceit and returned to its rightful owners – we the people of New Zealand !!!

          100% again !!!

    • Cemetery Jones says:

      TBD is the most heterodox blog in the game as far as NZ is concerned, and I like it that way. Plenty of leftists on the red pill these days.

  10. Sam Sam says:

    I just wanted to say to every one who joins in on TDB you guys are amazing. I had no idea after talking to you guys for years how cool you people actually are. Its almost like we all became friends and its insane how cool you guys are. I had no idea coming in you guys where like this so every one coming in say hi and join the discourse. We have almost 1/2 a million views already so drop in and say whats up. We’d all appreciate it.

    I wont end there so I’ll talk a bit about Te Ururoa Flavel and his new merged potential and why he’s a little bit stronger than people may think. So lets just begin.

    Hone Harawira just got done beating my ass with that whole Maori Party Saga when they split and Hone founded Mana Movement bullshit. And after I was done crying in the corner repeatedly Hone opens the door and he’s like hey son. Are you alright? I’m like NO! I’M NOT ALRIGHT. And then Hone is like I’ll take you to the game to make it up you right? And the game is actually the Maori Party and Mana Movement truce and then I see it and they are all on stage together and I’m like Hone this is amazing they are all agreeing with one and other while pitching to a hall full of high school students and I’m like radical and Fox & Shark are tossing Lisa & Hone then they repay the favour.

    And then they clash over the maori land reforms 3rd reading and knock each other around and Te Ururoa takes a hit from a pro maori land rights activist (Ay, caramba)

    It turns out Te Ururoa was saying I was right and wrong. I was wrong to say he was vulnerable in his seat of Waiariki. How ever I was right that merged Mana Maori has way way more potential than post hone era Maori party. Lots of people are completely right about that and the proof is what? Hone and Tuku Morgan meet a couple of times and a day after the press release Te Ururoa is bodying MP’s like winnie winnie because his prime time hrs doubled so now the Maori Party are able to reach pre Mana poll levels when Dr Sharples & Tariana gave a boost.

    How ever don’t get me wrong Hone was just being nice to me jerking Te Ururoa off a little bit how ever this is awsome, this is great news. It also solidifies completely that the Maori party can not stack the merger on top of Flavels potential poll numbers how ever it did prove people like me right because post Hone the Maori Party picked up Fox who casually bodies veteran tobacco lobbyists but could barely register above 0% in polls so no one was paying attention and now I’m saying guys the Maori Party Mana Movement rivalry is a beast thats giving them prime time coverage and they where able to use it to toss out people like donald brashes hobsons promise (or what ever) and this is honestly proof Te Ururoa has unlocked some hidden potential thats seeing the Maori Party and Mana Movement poll above there weight. I dont think the merge is as strong as Labour Greens or per se like john car keys cup of tea with the act party. The thing is Morgan/Hone/Fox had to ask Te Ururoa for a truce ok so they had to ask and wasnt pushed to it. With Labour Greens memorandum of understanding they where pushed into thinking they could win by an awful national party put in. Hone Harwira couldn’t do that, Hone got one shot’d and had to ask and with the cup of tea deal circumstances kind of forced them into it.

    So a truce isn’t as strong as a merger how ever the Maori Party and Mana Movement are polling as if they never split and Te Ururoa is polling way stronger now. The way they alpha’d Hobsons promise they made donald brash look like a babbling beta cuck and I’m like Marama Fox guys come on please have mercy, donald is just a man and then bam every one refreshes there roast hand and slams hobsons promise back down and its like so alpha. Te Ururoa and Mana Movement and so on, they are all a beast right now so naturally the the Labour party is going to lose maori seats to the Maori party.

    So the truce isn’t as strong as a merger because they had to ask but this rivalry is leaving the door open for cyber cucks to come in then Mana and Maori start wailing on them. This epic also proves something else. It proves when Mana and Maori were going at it a bit over maori land reforms Hone would raise his polling up as high as he could get and Te Ururoa would just go humph and then they’re still even. Do you know what I’m saying? The Maori Party can raise its poll numbers with out warning. After years of severe attacks and low polling the maori party can raise its polling with out warning and that Te Ururoa was completely suppressed in the media vs say winston and stuff like that and they haven’t even stacked a merger on top yet. Possibly before, maybe after Hone and Te Ururoa step down.

    So kaupapa maori parties will be able to block reforms or stall so no one can rip off public programes in silence for the medium term and to every the one the roast hand was beautiful.

  11. Bob (Northland) says:

    If NZ First allows Shane Jones to hitch his tainted wagon to their train they won’t break 10%.

    It will reinforce Voters fears of Winston’s worst aspects.

    If they don’t allow him near the Party they could go as high as 14%.

    • Jack Ramaka says:

      As far as I am aware Shane Jones is not a card carrying member of NZF, Winston & NZF are quite careful with candidate selection having had some problems in the past and may be reluctant to take Shane Jones on board as he comes with some baggage ?

  12. Kim dandy says:

    Usually I don’t go for whom the MSM promotes – and they love to promote Winston – always makes me wary…

  13. Winston Moreton says:

    NZ First. Sounds more progressive than National Labour or Green

  14. Winston Moreton says:

    NZ First. So much more positive than the other tired names