An Open Letter To Winston Peters




Kia ora Mr Peters,

With the counting of Special Votes, a clearer picture has emerged as to what voters in this country have chosen. The majority have voted against National and it’s allies.

In the face of childish temper-tantrums from some media commentariate/journalists, and machiavellian machinations from the  National Party and it’s fellow-travellers on the Right, you have held firm to wait until 7 October. This was a proper course of action, and you have rightly stood by it (as I wrote here: Once Upon a Time in Mainstream Media Fairytale Land).

Now comes the part where you negotiate with National and Labour. On this point I have no idea if you have made up your mind or not. I will assume you are still open to the various options and permutations available to you and other parties.

If you happen to be reading this, let me offer  my thoughts on this matter.

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National has been in power for nine years. During that time, it has allowed a toxic ‘cocktail’ of social and environmental problems (I refuse to be PC and refer to them as “issues”) to brew and fester. Our media are full of daily headlines of problems confronting us, and they seem to be worsening – not improving.



There is not a day or week that goes by without another in a long – and lengthening – series of ‘horror’ stories that forty years ago would have been unimaginable in our ‘Godzone’.



And the most appalling fact  – it is all so needless and preventable. We know what the problems are. What appears to be lacking is the will to implement sensible, sound policies to address them.



We portray New Zealand as “100% Pure”, with rivers of crystal pure water;



The reality, though, would probably put most of us in hospital if we tried drinking from our waterways;



No wonder overseas media like Al Jazeera are taking an interest into the true state of our degraded environment.

The fact is that after three terms in office, all we seem to be getting is more platitudes from this government and worsening headlines.



Even the solutions for our gravest problems are few from this current government. For example it seems that the extent of their “vision” is to cram homeless families into motels.



If anything, the cold, dead, hand of National and it’s insidious policies have made matters worse.

In 2008, Housing NZ’s state housing stock comprised of  69,000 rental properties.

By 2016, that number had fallen to 61,600 (plus a further 2,700 leased) – a dramatic shortfall of 7,400 properties.

Is it any   wonder we have families living in cars in the second decade of the 21st Century?

Even in my own street; just behind the house that I live in, a family came within days of being made homeless. Imagine, Mr Peters, a Kiwi family – including a six-month old baby – forced out onto the street.



When did homelessness for entire families ever become the ‘norm’ in this country? (Many would assert – with some validity – that it began in 1984, with the advent of Rogernomics and the rise of neo-liberalism.)

There are other stories of growing deprivation. Children going to school with no breakfast or lunch. Families working several jobs and still unable to make ends meet. Massive student debt burdening young people. NGOs having their funding cut – though strangely enough, National always seems to be able to find spare cash to spend on flag referenda; farms in the middle of the Saudi Desert; corporate welfare such as cash hand-outs to Tiwai Point aluminium smelter; yacht races, etc.

This is the government you are now potentially willing to ally yourself with.

That is nine years of failed policies; worsening social problems; and degraded environment that you will be inheriting and putting into the laps of yourself any of your MPs who are “lucky” enough to be allocated ministerial portfolios.

A coalition with National comes with several tonnes of some very bad, smelly ‘baggage’.

That is what you will be signing up  for if you snuggle up with National: all the accumulated crap of the last nine years. I hope you’re ready for it, Mr Peters. That’s a lot of trouble you’re willing to take on.

By now, you may be thinking what I’m thinking…  A deal with Labour and the Green Party is suddenly taking on a very rosy tint.

It’s your call, Mr Peters. Though if I may be so bold – it’s not much of a choice really…

National with it’s accumulated nine years of failures and mounting bad media coverage – versus a fresh new government without any foul-smelling baggage.

I know which I would choose.

Remember the last time you chose to ally with a government that had been in power for just two terms and was increasingly unpopular with it’s failing health service; severe police cuts; housing problems, etc?

If I recall, that did not end well, either…


Winston Peters


I hope you make the right choice, Mr Peters. For yourself, your Party colleagues, but most importantly, for the people of this country.

Best wishes, sir.

With regards,

Frank Macskasy





Mediaworks:  What’s behind New Zealand’s mental health funding crisis?

Fairfax media: $45m budget blow out on Canterbury’s mental health services

Newsroom:  Auckland’s crumbling mental health services

Fairfax media: Creative approach to mental health underfunded despite evidence it works

Radio NZ:  Mental health workers struggling to cope

Fairfax media:  Couple living in car with six cats, four chihuahuas and a rabbit

Al Jazeera:  New Zealand’s homeless – Living in cars and garages

Mediaworks:  NZ’s homelessness the worst in OECD – by far

NZ Herald: Homelessness to reach a new crisis point this winter

Radio NZ: NZ tops list of developed countries with most homeless

Mediaworks:  Al Jazeera launches investigation into New Zealand’s polluted waterways

Fairfax media:  River ecologist – ‘It’s a really bad situation’

NZ Herald:  Most rivers in New Zealand too dirty for a swim

Radio NZ:  100 percent pure or 60 percent polluted?

Fairfax media:  New ‘100% Pure’ campaign shows tourist drinking river water

Mediaworks:  New Zealand housing most unaffordable in the world – The Economist

Radio NZ:  Housing in many NZ cities ‘severely unaffordable’

NZ Herald:  New teachers quit city, delay kids, due to unaffordable housing

NZ Herald: Half of Auckland’s fast-track housing areas axed, Darby finds  New official Reserve Bank figures definitively show that investors accounted for nearly 46% of all mortgage monies

NZ Herald:   Govt to buy more motels to house homeless as its role in emergency housing grows

Housing NZ: Annual Report 2008/09

Housing NZ: Annual Report 2015/16

Previous related blogposts

Message to Minister Adams: Family of five, including six month old baby – about to live in a van

Election 2014; A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (tahi)

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (rua)

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (toru)

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (wha)

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (rima)

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (ono)

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (whitu)

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign… (waru)

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign… (Iwa)

Once Upon a Time in Mainstream Media Fairytale Land

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign… (tekau)






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  1. It would be logical for Peters to go into coalition with Labour and the Greens. Question is, will logic guide his decision making or will the Natzis offer him baubles he can’t say no to?

    Peters made that mistake in 1996 and that turned to custard only 18 months later. As you’ve said before, Frank, choose wisely Winston!

  2. I still think Winston will go with National, for one simple reason.
    National will always offer more than Labour because they fear losing much more than Labour does.
    So it really depends on whether Winston does it for himself, or does it for his country.

  3. Excellent letter Frank,

    We trust that Winston is truly setting about to turn this country around now as we were among 230 people that heard Winston in Gisborne at the Cosmopolitan Club on 21st August 2017 say “we need to change the Government and turn the country around and put funding back into the regions to give back jobs and homes to everyone and fix our now closed rail transport system that National have almost destroyed in 2012.

    Frank Winston turned to us all and the Mayor of Gisborne Meng Foon that to get our country and provinces back to a thriving economy we need to change the government.

    I have sent this letter to Winston and Bill English on 27th September 2017 the week after the election results came back and before the negotiations began. No response has been received to date.

    TO; Mr Bill English,
    Sent: Wednesday, 27 September 2017 8:45 a.m.

    We are advising your National Party that our HB/Gisborne regional communities are demanding our East Coast Regional rail services now be restored after the five years we have suffered after the National party closed our rail without any community consultation which we repeatedly asked for and was denied by your former PM John Key administration.

    We are placing our demand for your support for our rail to be now restored to service again for freight and passenger services to reduce the “truck gridlock” that now is clogging our roads making them very dangerous and costing millions in road repairs.

    You need to be aware that we at CEAC as a community NGO, along with HB Public Health, & NIWA & Water care services have all now confirmed and proven that the traffic levels along the residential truck route is causing air pollution and noise levels that are now at dangerous exceedances levels that are now at far higher levels than sustainable for residents and are now at dangerous levels along the present HB Expressway in Napier.

    Refer to all attachments above including the minutes from our committee meeting with NZTA in July which failed any meaningful resolution.

    Note; No meaningful resolutions were offered by Simon Bridges.

    Overuse of truck freight 24/7 has been threatening the public health, & wellbeing of all our communities all the way from HB/Gisborne now.

    Refer to attachment “HB Expressway noise and air quality issues report” June 2006 please.

    Worse also is the dramatic drop traffic noise & air pollution is causing with the loss of property values amongst all our communities and residential property owners for years, so all these negative effects of over use of truck freight can be seen clearly in the PCE report above with NZTA offering some ‘smooth road quiet surface’ in 2004 for the excessive noise and pollution that has developed there.
    All previous mitigation was removed under National since then. (No ‘reasonable use of rail has been offered since then either.)

    A much greater use of rail was recommended as a mitigation measure for use for freight and passenger services was identified by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment after conducting a transport study for a year study in 2005 (see study attached above.)

    This negative traffic noise & air pollution issue has come to a head now and can be traced back as far back to 2002 so urgent attention is required while we regard this as the reason for rail as mitigation must now be used for ‘land transport’ of freight & passenger services through the Manawatu Gorge, to reconnect the western traffic to the eastern side.

    Finally this latest NZTA road plan for a possible (estimated) $10 Billion dollar “huge viaduct through the Manawatu Gorge” must then become a ‘toll road’ as it is expressly needed urgently only for the freight/road industry and expressly not needed for the occasional private car user.

    If NZTA wish to use public purse to build these tunnels & viaducts why not use those financial resources to finish the ‘“East Coast rail line to Auckland as was planned from 1912 through 1939 to 1968?
    See map attached Gisborne Taneatua Auckland line.

    We must now realise to pay for all massive road upgrades/repairs especially in any locations such as road gorge configurations such as repeated slips occurring in the Manawatu, Waioeka, Otira, and other venerable road systems.

    Locations that are forced to use only a gorge then dictates that we must make ‘commercial users’ of our roads a “user pays” policy now as the local ratepayers and NZ taxpayer cannot sustain the increasing tax burden on them exclusively.

    Please consider our proposal and respond to me as secretary of CEAC so that I can table your response before our committee please when able.

    CC to Winston Peters.

  4. I want Winston to pick Labour, because Labour hasn’t done anything nasty to him, like National has. In 2011 National ruled out working with Winston. In 2014 National had Winston followed or intercepted, because they knew about his movements in Coatsville, and also said that his supporters were “dying off”. Who knows what other dirty politics National got the secret service to do, that has now been swept under the carpet, never to see the light of day, like the 2011 attack on Goff. No mates National is acting like a school yard bully, trying to find some friends. They may even offer Winston a safe seat accommodation like Act, but look at what that has done to Act.

  5. Excellent post , Frank.

    And yes Mr Peters , I hope you do read this and take heed of the warnings about the National government. Frank has only mentioned but a few of the appalling practices of this current govt.

    It is time for a change and the people have voted for that. They have had enough of this National govt.

    They really have had enough of them.

  6. Peters campaign on the slogan “Had enough yet”, and not “Want some more of the same?”. If he goes with the Nats, it’ll be the latter and once again he will have missled the public.

    It shouldn’t be a tough call at all. Propping up a 4th term government with more rot than my compost heap is a bad life-choice. If Peters doesn’t get that, he’s not as wiley as the press would have him.

    • Its certainly on the table and looks like the free ride and carving up our country is about to stop.


      … ” We don’t like extremists, – we believe in laws and policy’s that support the mass majority of New Zealanders , and not just a small elite ,… who may have gotten control of the political system and the financial funding of political party’s , … shows that in this campaign ” …

      – Winston Peters.


      Go Peters , go ! go ! go !… there’s gonna be a hot time in the town very shortly and a whole bunch of far right wing extremists are gonna be needing more deodorant over the next few days and thereafter!


  7. Thanks for a well written summary of the very substantive challenges that National seem to have quite consciously and deliberately created over the last nine years. It’s just how they are; it’s their basic nature.

    Just one other thought though… if Winston decides to sit on the cross benches, we might get another crack at lifting our numbers sooner rather than in 3 years time. The Left, particularly the Greens with their new MP seem to be on a roll. What a delightfully competent team the Greens have assembled.

  8. Bloody well said, Frank. The Nats have more baggage than an airline terminal and Peters would be a fool to go with them.

    He and his party need a fresh start in government and only a Labour-Green-NZF coalition can achieve that.

    Does Peters really want to be fronting RNZ’s Morning Report as Deputy PM explaining why our health system is collapsing through under-funding? Or why our rivers are turning into open sewers? Is that what he wants? Well, if he doesn’t there’s only one option available to him.

  9. Well, I do not get it, if Winston would want to bring a change of government, and implement the policies he promoted during the campaign, why does he even waste time going into long, repeated discussions with National and their negotiators?

    The only reason he would do that, is to get more of a bargain out of Labour. He does not want to negotiate with the Greens (directly), so if he is wanting to do good things for the country, he should already have announced a deal with Labour, or do so, once they have offered him enough.

    I struggle to see what the Nats can offer him, as they opposed vehemently most of what he listed as policy, and bottom lines.

    All I can think is some form of baubles and small fry policy concessions.

    Surely, Winston should not even play this game for much longer, take a clear stand, please, Mr Peters.

  10. Talked to some NZF insiders today. The self justifying narrative being spread around amongst NZF membership, to prepare them for the inevitable, is that the Greens have refused to work with New Zealand First and have torpedoed any chance of a Labour NZF coalition.

    Winston going with National is all the Greens fault.

    Who knew?

    What a joke

      • Same for this, I suppose, well I would hope:

        “Oppose the National-led government’s sponsorship of UNSC2334.”

        And this perhaps also?
        “Conclude the Russia-Belarus Kazakhstan Customs Union Free Trade Agreement as a priority – that bloc being the world’s number two dairy and beef importer.”

        Found here:

        I would have issues with a government being overly friendly with Israel, and with ignoring the rights and interests of Palestinians. Also would I be concerned if we get too friendly with Putin led Russia. Maybe one day, after Putin, there is room to move, but Peters has gone on a bit about dairy exports and so to Russia, asking why we do not make a deal with them.

        How would Ukrainians and the citizens of the Baltic States, and Georgia and so feel, if we do that?

  11. I find it astonishing that a party with 9 seats out of 120 can determine the next government. What is more disappointing is the rude and arrogant way Mr Peters has gone about the whole process, virtually silencing both National and Labour in terms of their media comments, interrupting an Australian reporter in a press conference asking where he was from and replying with, “That would figure wouldn’t”. Mr Peters at the end of that press conference stated that he would not talk to media until after the special votes and then proceeded to discuss it with Australian media. How is that putting New Zealanders first? I feel as a result of him not meeting HIS deadline in the formation of a new government that the Governor-General should exercise her powers and call for a fresh election. New Zealanders deserve better than this!!

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