Winston throws political chessboard over – all 2023 election bets are off


NZ First leader Winston Peters rules out coalition with Labour

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has revealed a coalition with Labour is off the cards because “they can’t be trusted”.


I think Winston has made an extraordinary political blunder by ruling out Labour in the next  Government.

He made the same tactical mistake in 2020 by attacking Jacinda when the country were still in Covid response admiration with her.

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By working with Jacinda, he can appeal as a safe pair of hands and wise adviser to her which is a comforting narrative that many older NZers would warm to, however ruling Labour out altogether means The Māori Party and Green Party can take free hits on the more reactionary rhetoric he’ll use to engage his base.

That will cement out any possible negotiation and will drive Labour to source extra vote from TOP.

In a pincer move, ACT could announce that they will refuse to form any Government that includes NZ First and that would lock Winston out from any side meaning even if he does get over 5%, that could be wasted because neither side will work with him.

Winston’s decision to rule Labour out is a win for TOP and a possible win for ACT.


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  1. Ego over Expediency. It’s the way of the World in the era of In-Flu-Wincers, Ontra-Prin-Ew-Ahhs, Spin and Bullshit

  2. This may be deeply tactical as it is clear he is pissed with Ardern. Better to ride the wave of discontent against Labour than try and support them as they decline.

    He may think or know Jacinda is on very thin ice within Labour and or that she is looking at abandoning ship, rather than going down with it. A change at the top end in desperation would cleanse Labour of the stain between them and NZ First and Winston would hold huge sway over the new leadership team banking on their desperation in return for the possibility of his support of a rejuvenated Labour.

    In any case NZF’s stated position is a blow to Labour too. But as you said, he could have also hit the self destruct button for his party as well and there was no plan at all!

    • Jacinda will not do a John key she will leave when the NZ people say they don’t want her anymore at the ballot box, despite many of you shit stirring and saying otherwise.

  3. Well he is old and not open to new thoughts, ie he wouldn’t read Sun Tzu and get some new moves. Then again the situation reminds me of a quip from A Fish Called Wanda.

    “- Otto: Don’t call me stupid.
    – Wanda Gershwitz: Oh, right! To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people! I’ve known sheep that could outwit you. I’ve worn dresses with higher IQs. But you think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?
    – Otto: Apes don’t read philosophy.
    – Wanda Gershwitz: Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.”

    • Greywarbler. With respect, it might be a bit much expecting Peters to read Sun Tzu, when the PM said that she doesn’t read books, but nevertheless has the time to bake scones for visiting pop singers, and to pose for photo opps with DJ’s – you know, DJ’s, the essential workers who were prioritised ahead of doctors and nurses during quarantine.

      Peters is a fishing man, not a laying on the beach sort of person like Ardern, and fishing can bring a few thoughts into a bloke’s head, and were I that bloke I’d be mighty wary of a party that surreptitiously developed the divisive He Puapua agenda behind my back while I was actually deputy leader of that party, and also a lawyer with the knowledge and expertise to see the constitutional implications of what they’re trying to do to us without either his or our knowledge.

  4. Winston Peters is a lawyer. “Scientists are using lawyers in experiments in laboratories now instead of rats because they discovered there were things even rats wouldn’t do. ”
    (RIP Robin Williams.)
    Winston Peters is a Machiavellian Confederate. If you don’t know what *Machiavellianism is or what it means to be a [political] confederate, then you really need to look it up.
    Neoliberalism is business. And business is business. It’s only also politics when public assets are what’s being traded. Sound familiar? Our politics IS NOW BUSINESS. And the very instant business becomes involved in politics, our politics flies out the window. We, as people, as human beings, no longer matter. Only business. And business is business.
    Here’s a recent example of how business corrupts the minds of the weak.
    ‘Debate sparks up on controversial sale of Eastland Network’
    ‘Household power bills driven up by retailers paying excessive dividends – union’
    *Machiavellianism is a personality trait that denotes cunningness, the ability to be manipulative, and a drive to use whatever means necessary to gain power. Machiavellianism is one of the traits that forms the Dark Triad, along with narcissism and psychopathy.
    This might be interesting in terms of how easy people are to convince and control in order to exploit.
    Russell Brand.
    “I recently spoke with Joe Dispenza about the consciousness of an individual but also at a group level. Additionally touching on topics relating to current cultural issues.”

    • Lots of Machiavellian types around these days CB. It’s a sign of the times. It’s about power and these people are very good at brokering this power.

  5. This may be the first time I have agreed with Winston. Labour cannot be trusted .The open for all to see has well and truly gone out the window . I am not silly enough to believe National will fulfill all its promises but they deserve the opportunity to try as this country will go further backwards after 3 years of Labour Greens and Maori Party.

  6. ” I think Winston has made an extraordinary political blunder…”

    I think Winston just guaranteed his 5% and that he’d be in the winning coalition next year.

  7. Let’s wait and see if NZ First’s support increases after this position statement by WP.
    I reckon this will push them up to 5%.

  8. Its gunna get him a boost in the next poll that’s for sure.

    Looks like the 2023 election is gunna be well hung.

    • Agree.
      My hunch is; Labour has provoked a significant voting block, into looking for a new box to tick.
      The Nat’s and Act, have obviously hoovered up some.
      Equally I’m sure there will be plenty of votes to be harvested from voters who won’t vote Nact. And the won’t vote For the Greens.
      They will see Winston as a safe middle ground, the “handbrake” to the radical.

      The only real difference is this time he’s being up front and stating he won’t jump in bed with Labour.
      It’s obvious he was never going to partner with English and National in hindsight. He played Jacinda and Grant like a fiddle.

  9. This is huge that a former deputy PM has called his PM and current PM and ministers liars who can’t be trusted. I hope he keeps repeating that they are liars and can’t be trusted right up until the election. Everyone is catching on to this most useless government and the more who do the better.
    Said by an ex-LP member who voted for the liar twice.

  10. Martyn, Martyn… this is Winston.

    He said that he will refuse to work with the current Labour govt. After the election it will a new Labour party, and he’ll happily with with them.

    Just like the voters in 2017 who thought he’d go with National because they thought he said he’d go with the biggest party. His play on words were he “would negotiate with the biggest party first” (BTW at the same time he was taking some members of the National party to court.. That he lost)

    He would just simply say, well if I’m in the govt, then the Labour party is not the same, and another $3 billion for him to splash out in the regions to I buy a reelection and he’ll sign up as quick as he signed the TTPA, after protesting against it.

  11. But, but…Martyn, anyone who has kept a eye on Labour’s manner towards other political parties knew this was coming.

  12. There are enough dentists now with the cost is eye watering if they were free where are they going to come from is it the same place we are getting all the other health workers and teachers and bus drivers and hospitality workers and IT workers. Unless thinks change at immegration dept we will see none of these until late next year after the election so then Labour as the opposition will blame National for bring in all the immegrants.

  13. He’s actually pitched this perfectly, he’s made the calculation that if he makes 5% he’ll be able to sit on the cross benches offering support to a minority govt on an issue by issue basis. Thus he gets maximum attention and leverage as his swansong.
    This announcement green light the Covid protest vote and male vote that that are wanting to escape the woke bullshit but can’t bring themselves to vote for Nat/Act.
    He’s certainly 5% on election night now.

  14. ACT announcing they’ll refuse to form any Government that includes NZ First?

    It’ll be great political theatre when it happens and the media will love it. Will Seymour swallow a rat and go with a coalition or some deal involving Peters.

    What d’ya reckon, Seymour as deputy PM having swallowed more dead rats than the Pied Piper of Hamlin could ever imagine.

    • Well Winston swallowed the rat to effectively be in coalition with the Greens. No their was no formal agreement, but they held up Winston when they didn’t need to.

  15. I think it is the opposite.

    I have read many, many comments on S. Media saying “I could never trust Winston as he went with Labour and screwed us all last time”. “Winston is the reason we have Jacinda, to have any credibility he will have to be clear that he will not go with Labour again”

    This is the purpose of the move to build bridges back with National so he has a chance at getting back in. Otherwise with the enmity between Jacinda and Winston, he wont get a deal with Labour unless Top, TMP and Greens cant bring in the numbers.

    Given the history and the Nat’s resentment of Winston, this is probably a reasonable tactical move.

  16. Having Winston Peters saying he won’t work with you should be displayed as a badge of honour. It’s not like he had no use as a foreign affairs minister but he just reeks of being an egotistical prick.

        • Queeny. One lie was stating that the IPCA investigative process would cover the behaviour of Mallard and co during the pandemic Parliamentary protest. The IPCA’s mandate is to investigate specific complaints made to it about actions of serving police officers. This may have been done to avoid any accountability for Trevor Mallard, and the MSM’s apparently avoiding the issue of Mallard’s antics suggests likewise.

        • co governance, not having a spare billion dollars for free dental care when they have 2.5 billion dollars for bribing councils to sign up to 3 waters. The legalisation of cannabis was another Labour lie, CGT another lie. State housing or the lack thereof another lie, just off the top my head without searching should be a good start for the day for ya Queeny.And I was referring to the offensiveness and size of their egos in agreeing.

  17. Back when Winston put Jacinda’s government into office she was an unknown quantity. We all had high hopes for her and things went well for the first 3 years. But Winston has reason to feel aggrieved at being kept in the dark about some pretty controversial legislation that was being planned. And in the last 2 years there is a lot of stuff thats happened that gives Jacinda a totally different character to what we saw in the first term.
    I think his statement is justified and will do him no harm at all. He can see that the tide is running out rapidly on Labour at the moment and will only get worse from now on.
    D J S

  18. Winston could have gone out on a high with his genuinely useful Provincial Growth Fund achievement–but no–he had to egotistically draft that letter to the Governor General and look a right wanker.

  19. Martyn, absolutely spot on.
    Who would ever believe this political charlatan ?
    He is a proven compulsive liar on an industrial scale.
    He claims to have been lied to by Ardern on two occasions.
    WTF ?
    Peters has a PHD in lying which has been proven in both court and the court of public opinion.
    However, Peters is correct in that Ardern has outright lied to him and NZ First – but they rightly deserve each other.

  20. Given Luxon’s penchant for squealing U-turns and political donuts, not to mention sustained loss of (political) traction – which should at least win him the bogan vote – you can see the appeal to Winston “Handbrake” Peters of riding shotgun with him. Maybe Seymour could park himself on the bonnet… or be bundled into the boot.

  21. Wrong article you are commenting on Trevor aka Andrew and Sylvian?
    AKA Cameron Slater?

  22. The greens are always ruling out the National party. This raises the question do the Greens believe that climate change is no emergency under National but is under Labour?
    The sad thing is that these parties that only work with those that they like are actually undermining a functioning MMP environment, and it puts the country last not first. But so as long as all get paid its all good.

  23. Politics disproves everyone put to its test. You don’t get to see that in regular life. Never understood Winston — he moves in mysterious ways. We of the Left with our principles first can never follow his ‘ideas’. He does mop up idiots for … Winston? Can’t think black bad of him since we all know him so well.

  24. The interesting factor here is that I have read through the comments above, and essentially everyone whether they think it is the right move or the wrong move thinks it was all Winston making the move.

    I suggest that his party, which is less real than the Greens, Labour or National, is just about 100% united against being in Government with Labour for culture war reasons and whether it makes broader tactical sense is less important than Winston having a functioning, energetic bloc of greyhairs still willing to do bakesales and pack out regional town halls for him.

  25. They carried us through the financial problems of the zGFC and started to rebuild Chch after its terrible earthquakes which displaced thousands . They kept businesses afloat and got roads and homes built. If Labour had been in power at the time we would still be in the committee stage .
    National were not perfect in their approach to health and housing for some but they kept inflation under control and many businesses grew . At the 2017 election there were e ought people happy with National to have got them back into power for a four term if NZF had gone with them .Without covid Labour would have been a 1 term government .

  26. They (National) achieved record Māori in prison, run down moldy hospitals, run down public schools, less state housing and gentrification of many state houses areas, more inequalities, plenty of cheap workers that can be taken advantage of for the businesspeople, 501 policy and John got an honorary award from the Aussies for selling us down the toilet.

  27. Martyn – if you believe anything Winston says, you are either too naive or a fool. I know for sure you are not a fool. So ….

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