How Winston could use MMP for NZ First and put New Zealand second


It could be a Class 7 shit storm

Winston is a cunning old fox who may yet steal the entire hen house of Parliament by using MMP in a manner that makes Winston King, not King maker.

There was a lot of behind the scenes happiness that Labour and NZ First were making great head way in terms of policy agreements, but the fact that the actual model of how the Government would function hasn’t yet been discussed should have Jacinda blinking rather than winking.

The actual format of the Government should have been discussed up front by the negotiating teams, rather than have everyone promise the things they could work on together.

That’s just a policy blueprint for Winston to use now.

To date the main belief is that Winston would join either Labour or National but the concern by holding back the structure of how the Government would actually operate has some suspicious that Winston intends to sit on the cross benches and rather than provide leadership within a Cabinet, he’ll actually undermine the Cabinet by demanding a vote by vote veto power over all legislation.

This gives Winston all the power and none of the Cabinet Collective responsibility. With a global economic ‘correction’ looming, Chinese infiltration into the National Party, a property market ready to pop, corrosive social services and Donald Trump driving the planet into some type of confrontation with North Korea and Iran, why sit within the Executive when you can demand veto power over every piece of legislation with none of the risk of actually being responsible for the implementation of the policy?

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So National or Labour-Green will form the Government, get a supply and confidence abstention agreement and have to beg Winston every time they want to pass legislation.

Sure, Winston won’t get the perks of Cabinet, but he will have all the power with none of the responsibility if shit hits the fan. It also keeps his incredibly ambitious MPs weakened and under resourced in case they start getting ideas above their station as happened to Winston when he was in a Government with National.

If Winston is going down this path, my guess is that he won’t announce until after the markets close on Friday so that he has the weekend for him and Bill/Jacinda to calm the markets who will freak out.

It’s avoiding the market freak out of how he intends to manipulate MMP to maximise his power that will ultimately decide who Winston will go with and that leans towards National.



  1. I don’t think Winston is in it for the power. If he was he would have been leader of National long ago. For years he has stood on a matter of principle against the neoliberal Sale of State Assets..

    • Unless, Dear @ Red Buzzard, winston peters is in fact a wily Machiavellian red herring helping the Neo Right privateers escape with our money while glossing over just how ripped off our export sector really was, and is?
      I too suffered a head injury. I did.Seriously. I fell out of a tree showing an older kid, and a girl at that, my coveted black bird nest complete with naked little birds. I remember clawing my way along a big ol’ pine branch then waking up in hospital. I’d apparently fallen on my head, luckily, as dad would have said, and was found wandering about like a Zombie with a far away look in my eye.
      Perhaps that would explain my grave reservations for winsome winnie. I had a sound amount of scepticism pounded into me by my colliding with the planet. Perhaps the Planet won??

      • re falling out of trees…I also fell out of a tree…a gum tree …which fortunately for me was already felled …but its sky- ward extended branches were off the ground to the height of a house and it was from there I fell…luckily not on my head…but unluckily on to my chest and I was severely winded…as I gasped for my life and my brother stood and laughed his arse off… i too learned the lesson of gravity and contemplated mortality

        …and i learned that i was not a monkey or a cat or a bird

        …but it didnt give me reservations about winnie

        ( besides which I have a $100 bet on his going with Labour and the Greens…so call me a spinner)

    • I don’t think Winston is in it for the power. If he was he would have been leader of National long ago.

      For years he has stood on a matter of principle against the neoliberal Sale of State Assets..

      Umm, that is exactly why the National Party would never have allowed him to become the leader of a National Govt, at anytime over the last 30 years.

    • !000% RB.

      Winnston does want to change the way NZ finantially operates, so he wants the big money leaders sent away.

      He will not try to smooth the foriegn carpetbaggers who have come with cheap chinese bank dollars to buy everything in sight.

      Winston wants to change course so he cannot stay with the dyimng carrcass of the national party as it is a large liability now since the cominng correction is nearby.

      That alone will help him to change ourb course so he will be saved by a coming crisis as another leader was saved in 1929 in Germeny was.

      Winston knows what is approaching so he wil play his hand to save NZ and that will be his legacy.

    • Yeah second that. He had me at Homicidal Chipmunk.

      I know I shouldn’t laugh so hard when I come to TDB but come on. The quality of publications this year have been exceptional. At least imo. And yours too CB. You guys say some funny stuff.

      Especially when some random comes along and holds up this one thing you guys may have said for like half a second, and then be completely wrong for the rest of the 5 minutes of fame baiting. You know, trolls come up with big words and then you kind of come up with the funny words.

      Thx 4 the kata

    • I am interested in what the other “coalition partner” ‘Green Party’ is doing Martyn since NZF is under your’s & the the MSM spotlight.

      Can you provide us with some ‘insight’ please as to whereb the proosed ‘agreement’ with Labour is?

      You was awol last weekend and you said earlier that you had spent the weekend ‘talking to a lot of others’ about the Green Party activities?

      I guess it is about time we also enquired if the greens are soon to be presenting their final agreement with labour now, have you any idea as nobody is bringing this issue up yet?

      • Nobody is bringing this up because it’s irrelevant. The Greens are effectively in the same position they were in 1999, except this time they committed in advance to supporting a Labour coalition, so they don’t have the option of keeping their distance and abstaining on confidence and supply votes. The only leverage they have is that Labour-NZ First don’t have a majority without them, but if they use that, they risk making governing with National seem more attractive to NZ First.

  2. Indeed, it has concerned me since the first election results were in. Winston would be king or queen maker, no matter whether Labour and Greens got another seat or two, as they later did.

    His dragging of his feet, and this talk about the NZ First Board is a real worry. I do not believe that their Board has all that much say, they would do what Winston would prefer, and simply vote accordingly.

    If Winston wanted a change of government, and be part of it, he could have and should have made a decision by now.

    The fact he has not, it may mean, he is indeed considering what Martyn has raised as an option for NZ First.

    So we could well have another election next year, because no government will function when it has to go to Winston and his party for each law change or any other legislative step.

    This will harm democracy in New Zealand, the MSM will ask whether our MMP system is a good one, and we may have a referendum some time in the near future, to change it.

    Meanwhile the country is at a cross roads, and shit may hit the fan very soon.

    • HC;

      “His dragging of his feet, and this talk about the NZ First Board is a real worry. I do not believe that their Board has all that much say, they would do what Winston would prefer, and simply vote accordingly.”

      This exactly how it happens with ALL parties.

      Ie; the BOARDS SET POLICY and give it to the politician. INCLUDING any legislation.

      Part of the illusion of Personality Politics. The leader is just a middle person.

      Stop listening the all the MSM Spin and learn.

      Follow my comments from here;


      • Well, virtually ALL policy on the NZ First website has ‘Winston Peters’ written at the bottom, thus signalling, that is HIS position, supported by the party.

        If their Board had ever been so important, then Winston would never carry on as he usually does, as a bit of a loose cannon at times, in the House and outside at times, in front of media.

        The Board is a convenient excuse for Peters to drag out negotiations, as he already made himself look a bit stupid, after his 12 October deadline had passed, without any announcement on who he would work with in or outside of government.

        Unlike boards of other parties, the NZ First one has been rather opaque and at least in part not been known publicly.

    • Prosser said on Q&A a couple of weeks back that the ‘Shadowie Boards’
      (my term/take) WERE ALREADY TALKING.

      Part of the MSM bashing of ANY person that represents a real change to the
      Status Quo.


      • And this cements it all.

        Chris Trotter’s alarming comment.

        “When Richard’s and Sue’s report of this encounter was drawn to my attention, I responded with the following comment:
        “That is the most alarming piece of intelligence I have received in the entire course of the 2017 election campaign. It is hard to distinguish which is the most dispiriting aspect of [the] report: that Grant Robertson cannot answer basic questions on political economy without reference to his mentor, Sir Michael Cullen; or, that Sir Michael’s grasp of these issues is as woeful as Don Brash’s (who also refuses to accept that banks create money). If this truly is the level of understanding in Labour’s senior ranks, then we are all – to use a technical political science term – fucked.”

        No bloody cheers.

        • HC;

          I know it can be hard to accept and quite alarming to some.

          Please follow my comments / links through to Dprogram.


  3. Shane Jones, From Labour Cabinet Minister, to National Government employed appointee to the Pacific Island Nations, to NZF Minister in a National Cabinet. Shane Jones may have over reached himself this time. To find himself having to sit on the cross benches without portfolio as the price he has to pay to support another National administration.

  4. The official negotiations between the parties is over.

    The only “negotiations” that “are continuing” are between Winston Peters and his board. As Wiinston tries to sell them an obviously unpopular decision.

    The only possible outcome of this tussle will be submission by the board.


    Because the board are in a zero sum game with their leader. Which ever way they go, they lose. In such a situation it is better to go along with what Winston Peters has called “consensus”.

    Winston Peters has stated publicly that the board will be making their decision by consensus.

    What does this mean?

    The concept of consensus decision making is basically an undemocratic concept.

    Consensus decision making is a business tool, where a manager (or owner) of a business or enterprise, (usually with more status and power than the other members on a board or at a meeting), get the result they want from a minority position.

    There will be no vote, inside the NZ First board, in fact under the consensus decision making model, (favoured by Winston Peters), voting is frowned on, or even in some more autocratic private businesses not allowed. The minority control the majority.

    In corporate new speak…..

    “Consensus decision making is a creative and dynamic way of reaching agreement between all members of a group. Instead of simply voting for an item and having the majority of the group getting their way, a group using consensus is committed to finding solutions that everyone actively supports, or at least can live with.”

    The key words here, are “or at least can live with”. Which is why consensus decision making is favoured by leaders usually with more status over others, over democratic decision making, where everyone’s vote is equal regardless of status.

    If consensus is undemocratic. Then Winston Peters demand for “Serious Consensus” inside the NZF board must be even more so, as he bull dozes his board and his party into backing a National Government.

    Winston says serious consensus with New Zealand First Board

    • RNZ news at 8am said the green Party will await firstly for the Labour/NZFF agreeement process firstly now as they were cited by RNZ on Friday that they were to make their final agreement ‘ratified’ last weekend as Jacainda wanted a clear process for the Labour/NZF agreement to proceeed seamingly.

      So according to this report below from RNZ Political reporter Jane Patterson the sticking point ‘goal posts’ now is been shifted by the Green party as the one holding up the process and not NZF?

      And Green party are giving jacinda a headache when trying to deal with NZF agreement also????

      Thanks again Green Party, you are a real trick aren’t you.

      “As the party with less negotiating power, the Greens are somewhat at the mercy of Labour, despite holding only one seat fewer than New Zealand First, at eight and nine seats respectively.
      They are operating on blind faith to some degree, prompting a warning from the former MP Sue Bradford to not “go soft” during the talks.
      They will have to call a Special General Meeting of 170 national delegates to ratify the deal, and that is likely to be a ‘take it or leave it’ situation for those delegates; the reference group is very aware of the limited opportunity to negotiate past that point, and will draft the proposal accordingly.
      That meeting may have to be held before a final sign-off between Labour and New Zealand First so Labour can give an assurance that Greens support is not an obstacle to a three-way deal.”

  5. Hes most likely to be a minster outside of government – Foreign minister like he did in 2005. This way he gets all the baubles of office and overseas travel, without actually being in government.

    He will almost certainly go with National who are likely to gift Shane Jones northland or some other safe seat to furnish continuity of survival of NZFirst post Winston (He wont live forever folks).

    This ticks all Winstons boxes, power and baubles, without significant responsibility and the perpetuation of his political cult of personality.

    Its also pretty good for National as they get 3 more years of power without to many fishooks (Winston will tow the line to keep his ministerial powers and his safe seat).

  6. There has been ongoing conjecture about the discussions and ‘negotiations’.
    There have been many assumptions and presumptions.

    Some of those are to do with the motivation and intention of Winston Peters.

    Some of the most amusing of those are from the National fans. They are getting all pissed off because of what their guesswork says Peters is on about.

    Listen up Natfans. You loved it when Joyce and English played every trick in the book. You loved it when they played dirty. You loved it when John Key played dirty. They did it because they could. You swooned and cheered at their cunning because you could.

    Peters is doing what he can because he can. It mightn’t be very nice but we’re used to things not being very nice. Suck it up.

    • Winston is better than most paint him as. he does truly want NZ back from corporate takeover so rest and await his legacy speech in a week or two once greens finally confirm their agreement with labour and you will see winston place NZF in the coalition and fire national out the door to save NZ again.

  7. Ah Grassoppas ,I agree with Martyn ,it makes sense to sit on the cross benches if you want maximum control over parliament .

    Winston can vote with Labour on ,reduced immigration , reducing child poverty , stopping foreign ownership , increasing affordable housing , lowering the homeless, a modified or renounced TPP , not raising superannuation age and so on.

    He can then also vote with National for more Irrigation ,more cows ,and more primary exports . Why ?

    Winston won’t be big on cleaning up rivers or streams , climate change or a water tax on farmers .He’s just not that fond of the Greens or environmentalism in general .He went around rural NZ in his campaign bus giving them his promise to support farmers come what may , and if he votes with Labour and the Greens on environmental policy he risks losing his rural voters.

    So staying on the cross benches makes sense , because you get to pass your NZF policy virtually every time .

    The major loser in this is the environment . Winston could defeat most climate change and clean water reforms for the next 3 years ,by supporting the economic call to double cow numbers .

    Labour and the Greens simply don”t have the numbers to pass these reforms without NZF .And I suspect this could be a real source of frustration to those who are sick of our rivers and streams being used as industrial sewers .

    Passing up the Ministerial Salaries and limo”s to sit on the cross benches may look like second prize , but again I agree with Martyn , Why would Winston settle for deputy Prime Minister ,when he could be the King and rule the land for the next three years .

    I know what I would do …
    Long live the King .

  8. “and have to beg Winston every time they want to pass legislation.”

    Well neither side has ever listened to the voters that pay them, have they?

    Asset sales? ‘Trussst in mee’. Privatise power supply? Cheaper…Yeah, right. Clean up our water ways and artesian supplies? Later than they’ll be alive. Make our roads safer? Reduce congestion? Ask no questions. Complain not at all. Hand over several billions for a bunch of old tat that needs re-surfacing within months of being opened to the deluded public.

    We have no second house to slow down hubris and arrogance, or send ‘mandated’ politicians back to their cosy lairs to think at last. So we all get to suffer from the actions of the Because We Can mob. It’s been that way since Holyoake, at least.

    Mr Peters might be the check on unbridled self-interest we need. Depends what he considers will be a suitable legacy. He’s older than most of the speculators – just like Bernie Sanders is. From what I’ve heard – the world and ambition look a little different past 70. (With notable exceptions, of course.)

  9. As a distant cousin ( In more ways than one) of Mr. Peter’s, (he would not know of my existence) I commend both this excellent opinion piece and the comments on all sides. Proud to be a kiwi in a far off land.

    And so far, proud to be a relative, if tenuous at best. For I believe this drawn out process is educational in the best sense of the word. World changes are indeed upon us already.

  10. “We’ve spent a couple of days on very comprehensive discussions and preparations for the party to make a final decision. We’ve got a lot of work done. The board’s engagement, in terms of that work, is complete.”
    Winston Peters

    “The board is starting to winding its way home. And we are going to press on and bring the matter to finality as fast as we possibly can.” Winston Peters

    Winston Peters has just given the media a reply of “No” to the question, “Have the board come to a consensus?”

    Despite not having made a decision, the board’s engagement is completed. (ie over)

    Winston Peters is now calling a meeting of the NZ First caucus. The board will be contacted by “communications”.

    Just as I have said; If the NZ First board don’t deliver Winston Peters the outcome he wants they will be sidelined.

    And that is exactly what is happening.

    It is quite clear that we are in for another 3 years, (at least) of a National led government.

  11. Jacinda knows it’s over.

    In fact, it has been over for Jacinda for a long time, at least from the time she and her party decided to screw over the Maori Party out of sectarian spite, effectively handing the role of King Maker over to Winston Peters.

    As the saying goes; Labour would rather keep control the losing side, than lose control of the winning side.

    Video footage of Ardern’s body language and face as she left her meeting with Peters today, would have given the game away. But Ardern was able to dodge the media completely.

    I wonder if the media will seek her out tomorrow, before the big reveal. Or will they all go along with the charade. “Terrible shock,” “We are disappointed,” “We will be ready in 2020.” “Blah, blah, blah.”

    The Herald saw English leave soon after 6pm, after about half an hour in the room.

    English confirmed the talks with Peters were one-on-one – just him talking to the NZ First leader.

    Asked what the next steps would be taken to form a Government, English said, “we’ll let you know”.

    “I can confirm I met with Mr Peters, but I won’t be commenting on the contents of that meeting,” English told waiting media. “I hope there’s more to say in the next few days.”

    Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has also just left the room after meeting Peters.

    The secrecy was such that Ardern took a different route than usual to get to the room which bypassed any media.

    All so predictable.

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