In praise of Winston Peters’ political role


I’m pleased Winston Peters is standing in this election. It’s best his half-baked, anti-Māori, anti-Treaty dog whistling is out in the open rather than growing and festering in dark corners.

You can always rely on Winston to pull out all the stops in the leadup to an election – scratching every itch and massaging every prejudice to get to 5% of the vote. He’s all bluff and bluster, arguing that black is really grey and because grey has some white in it then black is really white.

I feel confident to say he has held every position on every issue I’ve ever heard him talk on, swapping sides in an argument as often as he changes his double-breasted suits and of course often holding conflicting positions simultaneously.

He is a volatile mix of cantankerous contradictions.

He does have a point when talking about “Māori elites” extending their power while working class Māori continue to suffer but this argument would only hold water if he was as critical of Pākeha elites paying bugger all taxes and increasing their obscene wealth at the expense of everyone else. But no, Winston is silent on Pākeha corporate bludgers and in fact runs his campaigns on big, fat cheques from Pākeha rich pricks.

On the minor parties leaders debate on TVNZ last week the parties were asked what they would do about putting resources into clamping down on corporate tax evasion (of up to $7 billion per year) Peter’s said he had an unmatched track record compared to anyone else because 30 years ago he followed through on the so-called “winebox” inquiry right to the Privy Council with complaints about the IRD and the Serious Fraud Office turning a blind eye to tax evasion.

If you want to know about the winebox inquiry then follow it up with a search on DuckDuckGo. The more honest answer, which Peters’ didn’t give, was that he has no particular policy to tackle tax evasion – his political donors wouldn’t like that. You can be sure he will never raise it in coalition negotiations and if it is raised by someone else Winston will bypass it.

Winston does want to be taken seriously though and he will again seek the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs in a coalition government. He loves nothing more than flying first class to meet the powerful and influential around the world. The baubles of office indeed.

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So what’s his political role this election?

Winston Peters is providing a political safety valve for a hard-core, hard-bitten, largely Pākeha, minority who feel deeply threatened by Māori assertion of their rights as tangata whenua and for their rights under the Treaty to be considered at all levels of government rather than swept under the carpet of our dominant Euro-centric politics.

Peters (along with Act and National) criticises developments such as the national Māori health authority and claim we are moving towards “apartheid” and “race-based healthcare”. He claims these changes are anti-democratic. He is wrong.

Māori assertion of their identity and calls for “Māori delivery of services for Māori” represent a flourishing of democracy. Bringing more people “into the tent” means more people engaged in democratic participation. It means more democracy – not less. As Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi pointed out during last week’s debate Māori have been “in opposition” for 200 years and will continue to suffer under the “tyranny of the majority” unless democratic forms are expanded and developed to bring them in.

Pākeha need not be afraid of Māori assertion of self-determination – we should welcome it. If we get things right for Māori then we will get them right for everyone.

But Winston and his rich-prick mates don’t want that – they want the status quo where Pākeha rule because they are the majority and Māori rights are recognised at the whim of Pākeha rather than as of right under the Treaty.

There are plenty of historical examples of people such as Winston Peters both here and overseas. People happy to betray their own roots for the interests of a Euro-centric majority.


    • Motivated by personal experiences, I followed the Wine Box Inquiry and read Ian Wishart’s book The Paradise Conspiracy closely and I crawled away even more aghast than I already was at the bold corruption in lock step with the politically institutionalised power and grasping greed of that faction now Parisian-Bed-Bugged into our very core. They, those awful blood sucking politically motivated, privateer creatures, crawl about under cover and out of sight and now, they effectively own us and our country and they do what they like to us at their pleasure while deploying people like this to drip toxins onto the world stage to deflect their overtures.
      The Observer/The Guardian.
      Charlotte Graham-McLay in Wellington
      This, is blatant, pro right wing propaganda.
      Tired, broke and eager for change, New Zealand expected to shift right at coming election
      AO/NZ doesn’t so much a need a Royal Commission of Inquiry as a de-lousing of our MSM.
      Which brings me to winston peters. A pin striped gasbag and a lawyer and you know what Robin Williams said about lawyers. Scientists are using lawyers in lab experiments now instead of rats because they found there were some things even rats wouldn’t do.
      If it were not for neo-liberalism’s MMP criminal master stroke, Winston Peters would be sitting in some bar somewhere smoking and getting drunk.

      • “If it were not for neo-liberalism’s MMP criminal master stroke, Winston Peters would be sitting in some bar somewhere smoking and getting drunk.”

        Yeah nah. Under FPP he’d be back in the National Party wielding some kind of power. He’s a stayer.

    • I doubt I could ever vote for him but if ACT gets their hands on the levers of power at this election it’ll be Winston that saves us from David Seymour’s plans to turn the country into a neoliberal paradise (and probably crashing the economy the same way Liz Truss did in the UK recently)

  1. Winston’s position on Maoridom doesn’t vary significantly from that of Sir Apirana Ngata: Māori need to educate themselves, behave like adults and stop blaming the ancient past for their own failings.

    There isn’t up to $7 billion in tax evasion because tax evasion is illegal, easily spotted and remedied. However, there might be up to $7billion in tax avoidance, which is just structuring your business to take advantage of every possible legal loophole. This is mostly achieved through using tax differentials across borders and transfer pricing. The answer to this is better tax law. The tax evasion that does exist is mostly at a low level; small businesses handling cash and gangs laundering money through front businesses that make amazing profits despite the seeming lack of customers.

  2. The Wall Street elite are desperately attempting to herd the (increasingly angry) working masses into opposing nationalistic blocs. They must prevent a genuine opposition party from ever challenging the Uniparty ever again — particularly an anti-war workers’ party in the mould of Jeremy Corbyn et al.

    Divide-and-rule via racialistic nationalism is the best way to achieve this, which is why separatist racialism is at the centre of Critical Social Justice ideology.

    Non-interventionist anti-globalism, as held by most of the populist nationalists today, is also a threat to the oligarchs. Most of these people won’t go along with racialism either, and are also now targeted for destruction by Wall Street. N.Z.F. are acceptable to the billionaire class (but rejected by most right-populists), because Winston is anti-protectionism, pro-war, and generally relies on divisive rhetoric.

  3. Fantastic article, thanks John, spot on commentary on Winston Peters, the Man’s a quissler Traitor who bends & blows with the wind, he’s never achieved anything in all his long, long years in Parliament & in various Govts, he’s a disrupter, not a uniter who has ZERO accomplishments apart from his dopey Gold card that elderly immigrants have seized on & who emigrated here in their 60’s & jumped on the Pension bandwagon thanks to Peters, despite never earning the right to receive this? Winston’s what I call a caramel Maori, he looks like a Maori but doesn’t quack like one, he thinks he’s Euro white, he despises & betrays his own Race, language & deny’s his Maori Heritage & has a pathological hatred of Maori’s, it’s so bizarre & why does he do this, so that he can live high on the hog with the White privileged elites getting his free & fancy, expensive Pinstripe suits, free Air Travel & Hotels, Hobknobbing it around the World with the Powerful & getting his free paid meals at Bellamy’s? Winstons a joke, a laughingstock but as you said John, the purpose he serves is that he’s a safety valve for white privilege to vent their racism by saying it’s all the bloody MAORIEEES fault & in the quissling Peters, they have found their Champion of their lost causes & vile racism!

    • “he despises & betrays his own Race”. What does that mean? How does someone betray their own race? Serious question. What would a European or a Pakeha have to do to betray their own race?

      • You know exactly what it means, has he ever spoken Maori, has he ever supported Maori issues or Maori pride? Has he ever done anything to help the Maori People? NO, all he’s ever done is belittle & denigrate Maori, the only thing he has in common is that he looks Maori, a race he despises & whom he claims aren’t indigenous to NZ Aotearoa! That’s what’s called a quisler, someone who betrays their own kind!

  4. I think the Gold card was one of his achievements which is fairly meaningless for his 50-odd years in public service. As you say his main aim seems to be to look after himself & he knows how to find 5% of people with the same attitude.

  5. If it’s true that iwi collectively are worth $47b-$50b worth on their balance sheets. Where does all that putea go?

    Settlements are only up to 2% of an agreed quantum and that the Crown gets 2 votes whereas the negotiating iwi has only 1.

    Then it’s not all in cash. The formula works out roughly to $2800 /head. It’s the only time that the beneficiaries really feature in the equation.
    Then the ‘elites’ the go along get along rubber stamper Maori gets a gig as a trustee and then is appointed to be a director of some board.

    All this is in addition to not having to pay tax as an iwi authority. It’s worth it considering it’s a payback for theft of land etc…of 180+ years.

    Winston knows this game very well and is a typical politician. He’ll take advantage of making noise about this but will obfuscate when pushed on any issues he raises. As per usual. No surprises there.

  6. He is wrong three years ago before covid I studied NZ NCEA results and total immersion Māori school were right at the top. I also noticed in Peters party manifesto there is not one mention of kohanga Reo or Kura Kaupapa schools it as if they don’t exist. Māori rangatahi were achieving before covid hit and inclusion of culture was an important part our them doing so well. No Māori should be voting for Winstone he has used us as a means to get where he wants to in the meantime setting back race relations and tramping on his own people.

  7. I voted New Zealand First and proud of it. I voted Labour last time and now absolutely HATE Labour for pushing the attack on democracy that NEVER CAMPAIGNED on in 2020.

    I want to take back our country. My friends are all voting for New Zealand First too this time.

    • Being honest and acknowledging you have a problem is one of the first steps on the road to recovery. Thanks for your candid confession Mr T. In the next session we will tackle the subject of you thinking the country has been taken away and needs to be repossessed.

    • “and now absolutely HATE Labour for pushing the attack on democracy ”

      – just because the shock-jocks shout that message at you has never made it a true one.

      • Well, Hipkins is on public record as saying that the current one person one vote model of democracy is not fit for purpose in the NZ context. If I recall, said in reference to Three Waters.

      • Don’t want to misquote Hipkins, so not so much democracy is “not for for purpose” in the NZ context but “in need of redefining”. I guess there’s a subtle difference. Either way, Alice was correct to question if you can make words mean so many different things.

    • Good luck Tony T national and act are doing there utmost bests trying to get rid of Winny the poo including using bribery and fearmongering of another election.

    • Birds of a feather fly together is a saying, so you can all fly to another place as NZF isn’t for taking back the country, more for putting back in a back pocket useful things for one or two people in the country.

      We want all people to get a part in the overall enterprise and delight that we will raise if we can get back truly what we’ve lost. Sad but we can’t’; but humans have to learn to be adaptable to climate changes which includes the mental fog that has rolled over and almost suffocated NZ/AO.

    • Grade A opportunist. Opportunism means you are never wrong–because of the flexibility and acrobatics on anything and everything, which is why some people find Winston so irritating and others like him.

      He is an old tory at heart but…is happy to take on other retrograde and reactionary ideas when it suits his purpose like anti vaccination fruitcakes.

      NZF did do the Provincial Growth Fund in 2017 which delivered all sorts of little micro projects and improvements in the Far North…but…in reality it was all stuff that a non neo liberal Govt. should do anyway in a remote area…State Highway roundabouts and bridges, restore rail infrastructure, jettys and wharves for small settlements so the Kaipara can be marine highway again…freight depot Moerewa, Business and Research park Kaikohe etc.

      Be good to see the back of him and his brand which is anti migrant and racist to the core.

  8. Wow! good for you Tony taking back our country, what a load of bollocks who exactly took our country didn’t know someone took it when did they take it? So, does that mean you are against foreign ownership if so, that will make it damned hard for NZF to work with National who are selling more of our country as long as you have 2 million or more.

  9. Winston only wants a ministerial job for the pay and perks, the word is he’s a bit short of cash. Multiple wives partners and big bar bills tend to do that . 30 years ago he had a chip on his shoulder that’s grown to the size of a forest that needs to be felled before the timber rots and becomes slash!

  10. The hard-working well-off educated ignorant have good words to say for WPeters – Provincial fund, Something wet at Opotiki, the Gold Card, the fly in the ointment. A half-baked cake is better than no cake at all, never mind needing bread. Oh I’m all confused, I’ll go to default position. He does get something done!

  11. First time I’ve seen Peters so rattled when Jack Tame served it up to him on Q&A….went for the messenger attack/defence.

  12. Winston is a shocker – perfect for Luxon and Seymour – no I won’t be voting for him – leftie commie all the way, all day – and proud of it.


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