Peters can’t name his deputy

Today Winston Peters coudn’t or wouldn’t name the deputy leader of NZ First. That’s bizarre.

There seems to have been a flare up of a battle for the deputy position, with claims that Ron Mark has challenged Tracey Martin for the leader-in-waiting slot in the NZ First caucus.

Peters was asked after the meeting who his deputy was. NZ Herald reports in Winston Peters: No comment on coup:

He was asked repeatedly by media who his deputy leader is and whether he could confirm Ms Martin would remain in that position.

“I cannot discuss caucus business, that’s confidential. I am restricted by that. We do not discuss caucus business outside of caucus,” Mr Peters said.

Sure he can’t discuss abacus business out of caucus. But not naming and refusing to confirm who the party deputy is seems nonsensical.

Martin sat beside Peters in the deputy’s seat in Parliament soon afterwards, so refusing to comment was a futile refusal to open.

Afterwards, most NZ First MPs refused to comment, but Denis O’Rourke confirmed that Ms Martin remained deputy leader.

Why couldn’t Peters confirm that? It should have been an automatic response.

Mr Mark also said he was not the new NZ First deputy leader, but would not comment on whether he had made or planned a challenge.

Mark could also confirm  he wasn’t deputy without breaching caucus confidence.

Radio NZ NZ First quiet on rumoured coup attempt:

Ms Martin herself refused to talk about anything that may have happened in caucus, saying she had no comment.

Not confirming she was still deputy also seems bizarre.

They all refused to comment, citing caucus confidentiality – including Mr Peters.

“I’m restricted by that, which we’ve had as a rule for 22 long years.”

He was asked by reporters why he could not just confirm there had not been an attempted coup.

“Well look, excuse me, I just gave you an answer, which is total if you follow it slowly – we do not discuss caucus business outside of caucus.

Sounds like blanket evasion.

Patrick Gower reported on 3 News that a coup attempt failed after Peters stepped to support Martin. Martin’s mother is reported to be close to Peters and is party president.

Leave a comment


  1. kittycatkin

     /  30th June 2015

    Poor old geriatric.

  2. kittycatkin

     /  30th June 2015

    Can he remember who the party leader is ?

  3. SteveRemmington

     /  30th June 2015

    Tracey Martin is safe. Her mother who presided over the Owen Glenn donation scandal as party secretary knows where the bodies are buried. Anne Martin took one in the chook to protect Winston, the payback is ultimate support for Tracey by Winston.

  4. Pete Kane

     /  30th June 2015

    You wouldn’t rate it as a difficult question – it’s hardly asking for a considered opinion. One assumes it’s her until she’s formally replaced (even if that’s 5 minutes later), pretty much that simple really. The only other alternative I can see is she’s stepped down to allow a process to take place. One thing for sure, the leaker(s) wont be popular with the old chap. He takes loyalty seriously.

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