If NZ First go with National it’s a suicide note for their party

By   /   September 29, 2017  /   35 Comments

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The problem for every potential government is that they have very limited spending options given they are all committed to not increasing taxes on anyone (including the very wealthy).  But if Winston wants to claim any policy “wins” that he can be allowed to identify himself and his party with it seems much more likely that Labour and the Greens could deliver them.

NZ First will almost certainly cease to exist as a party if it props up a National government over the next three years.

On nearly every significant economic and social policy the NZ First policies differ little from Labour.
They both favour significant increases in the minimum wage.
Both want public transport infrastructure expanded.
Both want improved student allowances and free access to tertiary education.
Both want national super to stay at 65.
Both want to rewrite to Reserve Bank Act.
The list could go on and on.
The supporters of NZ First have in the past also generally favour a coalition with Labour when polled.
The tone of the NZ First election campaign was strikingly anti-government.
NZ First leader Winston Peters will also remember the last time he went in coalition with the National Party in 1996 they stabbed him in the back after 20 months and the party’s vote collapsed from 13% to 4%.
The NZ First coalition with Labour from 2005-2008 lasted the full three years and there were significant policy gains by NZ First – including a higher pension payment and the introduction of the Gold Card. But NZ First dropped below 5% again and was out of parliament in the 2008 election.
National rules out forming a coalition with NZ First in 2008 and 2011. They didn’t in 2014 but didn’t need his votes to get a majority.
Both the Greens and NZ First face this risk to their re-election if they are seen as too close to any government. They both should be using this coalition deal to reduce the 5% threshold which is simply too high an entry level for parties without an electorate MP.
Winston is now 72 years old and will be looking at his legacy.
The problem for every potential government is that they have very limited spending options given they are all committed to not increasing taxes on anyone (including the very wealthy).  But if Winston wants to claim any policy “wins” that he can be allowed to identify himself and his party with it seems much more likely that Labour and the Greens could deliver them.
It seems unlikely to mee that NZ first will be able to survive the departure of its leader. This election Winston actually started looking his age for the first time. It seems unlikely he would want to do this all again at age 75. This will probably be his last shot. I just don’t believe he is going to allow National to reclaim his legacy.
But maybe I am just a wishful thinker and wanting to bank the $20 an hour minimum wage within three years that Winston Peters has promised while forgetting that he came from the National Party to begin with and he continues to use bigotry in a demagogic manipulative manner to advance his own goals.
That is why he can jump both ways despite cultivating an anti-establishment image and the country would be a better place without his presence.
Maybe we just have to wait another three years. But is we do then let’s not waste the time any time to start writing a programme for government that can make real changes that benefit working people. Such a government would need to act “for the many and not the few” in the words of the British Labour Party manifesto.
If you want to hear a Labour leader give a speech with those sort of policies have a read or listen to this one from the UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn to their party conference this week.
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About the author

Mike Treen

National Director of Unite Union

35 Comments

  1. mary_a says:

    If NZF ignores the pleas of its supporters’ preference to go into a coalition with Labour, then it deserves to be annihilated by National, which habitually devours its small coalition partners!

    To join forces with National, IMO will only demonstrate NZF’s support for the crude, barbaric, corrupt policies of National, something which Winston Peters has been speaking out against for the past three years! It was also the platform on which NZF campaigned against this election.

  2. Observer Tokoroa says:

    Good Points Mike Treen

    If Winston Peters and his Party go along with National and their appalling record, he will be washing himself down the biggest government sewer in the history of New Zealand.

    The stench will stick to him forever. Nothing can ever sanitise the cruelty, the dishonesty, the deliberate impoverishment that National has
    forced upon the great majority of New Zealanders.

    NZ Last – the Wealthy First. Ding Dong Dell – NZ First is in the Well.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Chilout everybody it’s all a national ploy to muddy the coalition possibilty by trying to inject doubbt among the Lab/Green/NZF block.

      just go to Duncan Garner at AM show and he has Paula Bennett saying there a possible Green Party coalition with National may be on the cards????

      Believe nothing you see hear or read folks.

      • bert says:

        Ha ha. Paula Bennett says she is over MMP. She states she is spent( tired, exhausted) and as the highest polling party, National should be the government. Well Paula social Benefit, just because the cards did not fall your way this time, as in your two, one man parties aren’t there to prop you up, doesn’t make MMP wrong, it just makes you desperate. Desperate like those thousands of disenfranchised that you created, living in Motels, living off foodbanks, sleeping on maraes.

        So yes Paula you immoral heinous creature 54% don’t want National and YOU can spin it any way you like, Kelvin Davis is correct, not the other way around.

        As for Winston, I send you this message, when National has made it their campaign to destroy you, have different values to you and Bill has already attempted to rid you from parliament before the UTU should be at the forefront of negotiations. This along with sharing the wealth of our economy and not just the $4000- $11,000 pay rises members of parliament are about to receive. Many, including myself have not seen an increase for several years.

        • Andrea says:

          ” immoral heinous creature” Flattery Bert. Pure flattery.

          BTW what is it with ‘conservative’ women and leopard print clothing/shoes? (Mrs May’s kitten heel shoes and Ms Bennett’s robes.) Have they no shame?!

        • WILD KATIPO says:

          Grrrrr,…

          … ” Paula Bennett says she is over MMP. She states she is spent( tired, exhausted) and as the highest polling party, National should be the government ” …

          Oh really . YOU are tired are you , Pullyer ?

          You poor bloody snowflake. You overfed , self righteous , disgusting little narcissistic shrew.

          How about the family who was evicted from their flat because their wages were so shitty so they had nowhere else to go? , – wages that were kept low under YOUR
          government ?!!?

          Tired my bloody arse , you viscous shithead. And I suppose you don’t know , – or even care , – how much emotional and mental stress that puts on the parents with young family’s sleeping in cars , huh ? , – or not being able to afford decent bloody food to fill their bellies at night , yeah ?

          You fucking make me sick, Bennett.

          Just like your shitty little weasel faced leader the Double Dipper Bill English does .

          Time for all you undeserving parasitic rich pricks to take a hike, – and don’t bother coming back , – we don’t need ya.

          • CLEANGREEN says:

            National is an afront to common decency.

            They are the lowest of the low in my mind.

            So put them in a leaky boat with National painted on the bow, and drop them off out into the dark blue sea.

          • bert says:

            Beautifully articulated and written as always WK.

  3. roy cartland says:

    “The problem for every potential government is that they have very limited spending options given they are all committed to not increasing taxes on anyone (including the very wealthy). But if Winston wants to claim any policy “wins” that he can be allowed to identify himself and his party with it seems much more likely that Labour and the Greens could deliver them.”

    This is an excellent point. If LAB were playing smart, they’d be able to enact progressive policies that they wanted to but were unpalatable to the right rump, and blame it on the coalition, specifically Winston. This could be the start of a real shift for the better in NZ.

  4. David Stone says:

    When NZF was poling at around 12-15% a couple of months out some of that support was probably nat leaning. And they probably went back to National when Jacinda started to look like a threat. So as you say Mike NZF voters were likely mostly oriented with the traditional labour ideology, if not recent labour administrations.
    D J S

  5. countryboy says:

    NZ first and nat’ are cast from the same DNA. They fit together like jonky into hekia parata.

    One last word re NZ first.

    Lets dissect the word ‘ Lie.’

    Bear with…

    LIE. 2 |lʌɪ|
    noun
    an intentionally false statement: they hint rather than tell outright lies | the whole thing is a pack of lies.
    • used with reference to a situation involving deception or founded on a mistaken impression: all their married life she had been living a lie.
    verb (lies, lying, lied |ˈlʌɪɪŋ| ) [ no obj. ]
    tell a lie or lies: why had Ashenden lied about his visit to London? | [ with direct speech ] : ‘I am sixty-five,’ she lied.
    • (of a thing) present a false impression: the camera cannot lie.
    PHRASES
    give the lie to serve to show that (something previously assumed to be the case) is not true: these figures give the lie to the notion that Britain is excessively strike-ridden.
    I tell a lie (or that’s a lie)Brit. informal used to correct oneself immediately when one realizes that one has made an incorrect remark: I never used to dream—I tell a lie, I did dream when I was little.
    lie through one’s teeth informal tell an outright lie without remorse. ‘Don’t worry, Lavender, you’ll soon catch up’, Miss Honey said, lying through her teeth.
    ORIGIN Old English lyge (noun), lēogan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch liegen and German lügen .
    Winston Peters; Liar. Pretends he has the interests of the common person at heart but instead runs a red herring charade to fool us into thinking ‘ Good ol’ winnie. Out there barking like a mad dog for us… when really? A cheap fucking liar.

    Him and national? Born to Fool.

    • David Stone says:

      For all his idiosyncrasies Coultryboy , I think Winnie has your issues more clearly in his objectives than any other NZ politician. But we’ll see.
      D J S

  6. e-clectic says:

    Are they suckers for punishment?
    They did it before and got caned before.

    But the underlying farce is that we have to reduce multiple voices, as voted by the public, down to a government and opposition where the “opposition” effectively gets sidelined for the next three years. There are 120 elected, paid representatives. It’s nuts that less than 65 get to have a meaningful say and the rest keep their seats warm or play a game of find and word a question so cleverly that you can cause brief embarrassment from a Minister.

    Can you imagine the Board of Fonterra or any significant business only hearing from just over 50% of their board members while the rest snipe at them?
    There’s only one organisation in NZ that operates in a completely outdated farcical mode – the most important one.

    • Groucho Marxist says:

      If we are running the country on a business model surely the MPs should be held to the legal standards that are required of directors.

      Those using deception and false claims could be prosecuted.

      If it is good enough to do with registered companies why should our elected representatives not be included?

    • David Stone says:

      I totally agree E Clectic
      One way to go would be to outlaw all political parties and have only electorate seats so all representatives are from a community where they are well known . They would all be independents ant the lawmaking would take place in open parliament instead of secret caucus . All legislation would be considered by the whole and be voted for on it’s own merit .
      Slightly along those lines there’s nothing to stop both Greens and NZF agreeing to give labour supply and confidence and both remain free to argue everything else on a case by case basis. That would be trending that way a bit.
      D J S

      • e-clectic says:

        Yes – that could start that process if NZF & Greens gave Labour C&S but all legislation was up for debate on its own merits – but the Cabinet manual probably needs a rewrite

  7. Nick says:

    The problem for Winston is that he is pulled three ways. And each one has a good chance of being a suicide note.

    His policies mesh well with the Left, so it will be hard for him to notch victories. On the Right he will get what are essentially baubles with a few “wins” – obvious to all, fewer than he would get on the Left. But the third course is to stay on the cross-benches offering supply and confidence and nothing more to the Left or simply abstaining from the C & S vote if he decides to back National.

    The third course might be tempting from the point of view of holding his base: riven between former Nats and “Third Way” Winnie populist supporters who would rather see a change of government, or at least don’t want Peters to jump into bed with National. However the pitfalls of this approach are just as problematic. As people love to point out, time is starting to run out on the Peters legacy. The “Long Game” has fewer attractions than it once had. He is not likely to want to simply veto policies: that doesn’t look like legacy material.

    Perhaps the awareness that any of his choices have a good chance of destroying his party is why Winnie seems unusually gruff with his favorite punching bag: reporters who ask any question germane to his situation.

    My view is that these are perhaps false questions: real as they may seem to Peters. The New Zealand First Party will not survive Winston Peters whatever he chooses. He is too dominant and too idiocratic.

    So, in truth, he might as well fix on a single dramatic policy: I suggest the train triangle between Hamilton, Tauranga and Port Whangarei, choose the government structure whose policies will most match his prescription for the country, then move ahead without concern for the doomed continuation of his personal political fiefdom.

  8. Mike the Lefty says:

    Basically, I think the whole idea is a red herring devised by the political right smarting because they didn’t achieve instant victory this time, as they have become used to over the years.
    From my perspective there appears to be an insurmountable gap between the two parties on issues like climate change, polluted rivers, use of water resources, mining and use of fossil fuels.
    For a coalition to take place between the two there would have to be a massive backdown from each side, and I can’t see either of them willing to do it.
    And yes, it would be political suicide for the Green Party as we know them. They would become the environmental arm of the National Party, as unlikely as this might seem, and most of their supporters would probably desert and form an alternative Green party.
    I didn’t vote for them to join with National and I’m damned sure that at least 95% of similar supporters didn’t either.

  9. Samwise says:

    If I recall, wins tonight nearly lost his seat and parliamentary presence in 1999 when NZF dipped below 4%. Does he really want to go through all that with the Tories, especially after they tried to destroy him wit the leaking of his super overpayments? More fool him if he disregards the warnings and jumps into bed with the Natrats.

  10. savenz says:

    It’s simple, if NZ First go with National they are dead.
    If Greens go with National they are dead.

    Clearly it is in National’s interests to kill off NZ First and the Greens so they will do anything to woo them – and probably have the SIS spying on them and reporting back on what it might take – to help the National’s agenda.

  11. Michelle says:

    I see pull the benefit has said it is a crazy system we are in (MMP) what a hypocrite she was happy with the crazy system when it delivered for them and so were the maori party . I see the maori party are acting and talking like all us maori fellas are dumb cause we don’t understand MMP implying we don’t know how to vote. Based on the results it is not us that dumb its our pakeha whanau (who believed the spin) and some of the thousand of immigrants that have paid their piper.

  12. bert says:

    So tell me why would Winston go with National when you see just how truly professional the deputy P.M. is?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11927733

    You’ll never take the westy out of this girl.

    • Danyl Strype says:

      I’m not sure whether its ignorance or desperation driving Bennett’s comments here. National only won if NZ First decide they did, and NZ First have to base their decision on what their own supporters want, not what National’s supporters want. The real, adult discussion about the shape of the next government is not about which horse came first on race day. It’s about NZ First’s policy priorities, and whether governing with the Nats or Labour+Greens will result in getting more of their high priority policies turned into law.

      • bert says:

        We vote, we wait until ALL the votes are counted, then a Government is formed.

        In the mean time, the media are frenzied!

      • bert says:

        “is not about which horse came first on race day. ”

        No, but National are always on the lookout for a “Fix”

        • mary_a says:

          @ Bert … yes and let’s not forget the right wing media is the Natz mouthpiece, going almost apoplectic to serve its master well until the specials are in.

          All the BS published in msm during the past week, re Natz/Greens coalition, is an indication of how this present temporary caretaker government courtesy Herr Joyce, is able to manipulate media in doing its corrupt bidding in the desperate hope of retaining power!

  13. Michal says:

    I am well and truly over the pundits saying we (I am a longtime member) should go with National. Who the hell do they think they are, they clearly do not understand the party at all, it would be the Greens death knell.

    Go to hell all you who think you know it all blah blah blah blah.

  14. Andrea says:

    What is it with this endless ageism about Winston?

    He was born in 1945.

    There are at least two US Senators older than he is – Feinstein and Grassley – both born in 1933 and at least one has been serving since the 1990s.

    Now people. Please make up your collective mind: either we want people to keep on toiling past the current age of 65 for the sake of the tax dollars, andr we adjust to the horrific, chilling etc fact that people past the age of 70, or even 80, can be as smart, savvy, and able as anyone in the decades before – and worthy of their hire, training, and place in the workforce. Or we don’t. We want our seniors to be nothing more than wrinkled noses pressed against shop windows, while the owners wish they could afford, but the pittance doesn’t stretch so far.

    PS The oldest member in Congress is 87. Mr Peters has a while to run yet. Wish he’d sort out his succession plan, though, otherwise we’ll have a rerun of the debacle left us by Helen Clark.

  15. Marc says:

    “Maybe we just have to wait another three years. But is we do then let’s not waste the time any time to start writing a programme for government that can make real changes that benefit working people. Such a government would need to act “for the many and not the few” in the words of the British Labour Party manifesto.
    If you want to hear a Labour leader give a speech with those sort of policies have a read or listen to this one from the UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn to their party conference this week.”

    That is exactly my conclusion also, Labour need to go into an election with a clear set of progressive, pro worker and to some degree also pro beneficiary policies.

    This election campaign Labour was first in panic mode, hence the sudden, unexpected change of leader. Jacinda is popular with many, but given her sudden appointment and only some policy having been prepared, so not to scare off centrist voters, who may have voted Nats 2008 to 2014, they looked ill prepared for government.

    Now that Jacinda is leader, and she is likely to stay leader, Labour can use the time to form better policy, and for the coming years work from the opposition with more MPs.

    The Greens are also able to recover from the slaughtering of Metiria, the departure of two senior MPs, and James having had to patch things up a bit.

    A Labour Greens government looks most likely for 2020, but if they go into a deal with NZ First, they may not win then, as they can only deliver some stuff with Winston, and may disappoint their voters.

  16. bert says:

    We vote, we wait until ALL the votes are counted, then a Government is formed.

    In the mean time, the media are frenzied!

  17. cityzen says:

    Jacinda would require an electric charge from Winston not old polluting petrol from Bill.

  18. mosa says:

    You know it could be a shock decision and Winston opts for Lab- Grn coalition.

    But i think it will be National or the cross benches.

    That is my pick.