Peters back to barrel scraping

Winston Peters came across as the most sensible MP when speaking on the Te Tii Marae issues last week. But back in Parliament he has quickly returned to scraping the bottom of an attention seeking barrel.

He has just issued a challenge to John Key:

Challenge To PM – Prove Your Fishing Story Or Pay Up

Author: Rt Hon Winston Peters
Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 – 17:45

The Prime Minister today introduced a new element of misinformation when he claimed I spent all my time up in Northland on my fishing boat, fishing, says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“I challenge the Prime Minister and I will pay to his favourite charity, not himself, $100,000, if he can find one witness that has seen me out on my fishing boat, fishing, since the Northland byelection.

“He won’t, of course, which is why he should apologise, pay $100,000 to a Northland charity of my choosing, and stop wasting Parliament’s Question Time with such blatant untruths.”

I presume that relates to their first clash of the year exchange in Question Time today.

9.Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in the Hon Steven Joyce; if so, why?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes, I do have confidence in Minister Joyce, who is both hard-working and effective. I would say, after he released the Northland report last week and went up to Northland to do that—not only did it have 58 initiatives in it, but I dare say that Minister Joyce now knows more about Northland than the member does. In actually having been there once this year, he has probably been there more than the member has—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! This is the very last warning to Dr Megan Woods. If I hear her interject again, I will be asking her to leave.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Seeing as the Prime Minister put it at issue, is it not a fact that I have spent more time in my electorate in the space of just 9 months than he has for the whole time he has been an MP in his electorate?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Not if you count time in your electorate being on a boat, fishing.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: How—

Hon Member: Well, that didn’t go anywhere.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Of course it did not go anywhere, because it is not true.

The rest of the exchange only mentions fishing once more:

…the “member for fishing” has come up with zero.

So it seems like a bit of an over-reaction from Peters.

This would probably have passed by virtually unnoticed, but Peters is drawing attention to it which is unlikely to do himself any favours.

The rest of the Q&A transcript:

Mr SPEAKER: Order! Less interjection from my right-hand side, and when the member—I call him for a supplementary question. Could we have the supplementary question?

Rt Hon Winston Peters: How can he have confidence in a Minister who launched the Northland economic plan and is so proud of it, when it catalogues National’s record: the unemployment rate there is 3 percent above the national average, nominal GDP—all in this book—per capita is 32 percent below the national average, and 20 percent of the population is living in deprived areas. Why is that a cause for pride?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Just to give a flavour of the facts that the member has quoted, which are not factually correct: the unemployment rate in Northland fell, actually, in the December quarter from 8.2 percent to 6.2 percent. It is certainly not new that Northland is a deprived part of New Zealand, but this is a Government that has actually been looking to do a number of things to change that position, and if the member wants to support them, including potentially more mining in Northland, reform of the Resource Management Act in Northland, more tourism activity, a whole bunch of other initiatives that were included in the document—58 in total—we look forward to his support. But as per normal, he will—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! Order! The answer is long enough.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: How can this 58-point plan even touch the surface of Northland’s needs, when Mr Joyce confirmed that there are no monetary or fiscal changes to give it effect, or any plans for seven of the 10 two-laned bridges that he talked about or the enhanced taxpayer-funded cellphone tower coverage or the ultra-fast broadband or, for that matter, the Wellsford to Pūhoi motorway? Where is that in his—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The question has been asked.

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: It is good to see the member is now supporting the Wellsford to Pūhoi part of the motorway. We look forward to that. The member should know, actually, that the Minister is not responsible for monetary policy in New Zealand, but when it comes to so many other initiatives like ultra-fast broadband and rural broadband and the likes, the Government is involved in that, and in terms of upgrading the infrastructure of roading and bridges. But I would just make this simple point: if we just want to have a point-for-point comparison, it is 58 to zip, because this Minister has come up with 58 initiatives for Northland and the “member for fishing” has come up with zero.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: When he and his colleague Mr Joyce were in Northland, albeit briefly, and promised 10 two-laned bridges, taxpayer-funded ultra-fast broadband, and extra cellphone coverage paid for by the taxpayer, and the Pūhoi to Wellsford highway, did they not plan to give it any funding to make it happen? Because if it was the plan, where is it in his master 58-point plan?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: We are good as a Government—I am prepared to accept that—but even we do not think we can build roads, bridges, and ultra-fast broadband without putting in money. So, yes, there will be money following those initiatives, as there already has been. And, actually, that report indicates that we decided to put $4 million into the Hundertwasser project in Whangarei. There are 58 very bold and good initiatives in this plan, and the member should either come up with his own 58 or get on the bus and support it.


Leave a comment


  1. kittycatkin

     /  10th February 2016

    People could well have seen him and not realised who it was !

  2. kittycatkin

     /  10th February 2016

    That image-scraping the bottom of the barrel-is so old and so good; it describes this sort of thing perfectly. I don’t think that it would be possible to invent a better one.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  10th February 2016

    Not sure I can imagine Winston fishing. In fact I am not sure he exists without an audience.

  4. Bob

     /  10th February 2016

    If a politician sits in a boat on a lonely ocean, and no one is there to see it, is he there?

  5. Bob

     /  10th February 2016

    If a politician pays $158,000, and no one sees the receipt, was it paid?

  6. Pantsdownbrown

     /  10th February 2016

    Now if Key had said Peters had spent most of his time propping up the bar he would have been closer to the truth…….

  7. Just back up the truck. Peters asked Key about Joyce. Key made a smart-arse comment about Peters and Northland. Peters responded with a smart-arse comment about Key and his Helensville electorate. Your NZ has headline “Peters back to barrel scraping.”

    “So it [the retort about Minister of Fishing, fishing introduced as an element by Key] seems like a bit of an over-reaction from Peters.”

    Did David Farrar write this? Pillory and hate Peters for who he is, all he stands for, all he does and doesn’t do, but hell, at least do it with a smidgeon of intelligence and rationality.

    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  10th February 2016

      In your ‘outrage’ you totally miss the point of the post. Yes, Key and Peters swapped jibes BUT then Peters has followed up by issuing a statement defending the fact he didn’t go fishing and wanting an apology……what is the point of that? Grandstanding much………should Key also issue a statement asking Winston to apologise for saying he didn’t spend enough time in his electorate? Makes Peters look petty and a ‘barrel scraper’.

    • Peters frequently makes claims, accusations, insinuations and smart arse comments without backing them up with evidence – as does Key. But to follow up a petty exchange in Parliament with a $100,000 challenge looks like lame attention seeking.

      • Depends on the definition of lame I suppose. Even those who thought it was lame gave it publicity. The publicity Peters was after. It’s like a strange dance, the headline is payback for the chagrin at being sucked into playing his game.

        Can we look forward to similar headlines (strictly for balance of course) when Mr Key makes ‘lame’ excuses, pronouncements or diversions? 😊

  8. Pickled Possum

     /  11th February 2016

    Obviously very few posters here live in Northland the Utopia of New Zealand 🙂
    I have seen Winstone while driving on these rubbish roads here many times, in his suit not is fishing gear, driving to enlighten many, while throwing out a cheeky wave and a hi di hi.

    No real Northlander in their right mind goes fishing up here on the East coast in the summer months with millions of litres of sewage released each night to feed the fishy’s, and it’s spawning season, only visiting tourist mainly from Auckland or overseas do that here.

    Back to Winston…
    He has been at many hui where I might add that many other MPs were invited by didn’t attend. His calling for a new policeman for T.H. when they were left with none ……crickets chirping from national.
    Winstone goes about quietly doing his job for the northlander’s.

    Not like the hair pulling too smart for his board shorts and Hawaiian shirt … one. Who only speaks of his great city, were his major parti funds injectors habitat is, who flies His flag on the harbour bridge …Auckland the city of 200 ethnicities.
    who only talks of how the rich can get richer the poor get more ripped off,
    call’s Maori mickey mouse followers with a snigger to deflect his left out in the cold feeling,
    how he can shut down free speech and cause angst by throwing around jibs and jabs about anything from woman being sexually abused to MPs fishing,
    but who listens … only his die hard faithful, who cry throw another wagyu on the barbe love and serve it up with some of john keys pinot noir or chardonnay.
    yea john key where are our bridges?

    Winston is the knight Northland have been waiting for after the sick debacle that was Sabin and the other one that thought he was Hori from the Hokianga on a talk back radio oh yea john carter was his name and now he has got his snout in the mayor trough, doing what for Northland? SFA by the look of it.
    The $4 million ceramic tiled Hundertwasser, project how many if any jobs will that little spend up create. Calling all tenders from Auckland.

    If it wasn’t for Winston we would never know this…
    Winston Peters Jan 19
    “Immigration at record levels, for the 16th consecutive month – 2400 arriving weekly contributing to housing demand.”

    with fishing resources on our coastlines not sustainable anymore,
    Go on Winston hold up 2 spratt sized snapper in parliament to show what’s left out there.

    • Northland is suddenly important. Any chance to denigrate Winston will be used. The bitter and twisted through the country take it as a personal insult that he was elected. Part of their strategy is to use any word which Winston has used and turn it against him. He talked of the need for a rail link to Marsden Point. There isn’t one so it’s his fault. There is unlikely to be one that’s his fault. Those who don’t even think there needs to be a link attack him for there not being one.

      The abuse Northlanders have had from politicians over years has been matched by the animosity from National lovers towards the North since the by-election. The sheer bloody cheek of Northlanders to exercise their right to exorcise their abusers has riled outsiders.

      A glorious certainty is unfolding though – the best electorate to live in is in a close one, one where there is political motivation to do something. The recent visit of Steven Joyce and the announcements was about the smack in the face from last year.

      Peters is attacked for his grandstanding gambit but clearly the one who began it in with his puerile remark is part of continuing the strategy to upset the apple cart upsetter.

      • Pickled Possum

         /  11th February 2016

        “Mr Peters is scheduled to visit the Mangakahia Area School today and was meeting parents at their request. They have been campaigning against the ill effects of voluminous amounts of dust from unsealed roads.”

        But he was told by Ministry Of Education he was barred from riding the bus.

        “It’s disgraceful interference in an MP’s work for his constituents,” says Mr Peters. “It is glaringly obvious that the National Government is obsessed with putting politics ahead of people.”

        “While we understand that there are safety issues of just anyone travelling on a school bus, it was important to be on the bus with the kids to see how the dust affects them,” says Mr Peters, the New Zealand First Leader.

        “During the by-election National Whangarei MP Shane Reti tried to keep the Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy Group quiet.

        “Dr Reti claimed he had taken the dusty roads problem to the Cabinet, but if the group continued to take action they would have to see what the consequences would be.”
        WTF was he making blackmail noises.
        Nothing has changed just another pre election lie from national parti

        Will we read about all of this malarkey in the MSM no betcha we don’t …WHY?
        Because they think we would rather see pictures of johnkey at the rugby with the ABs drinking the beer’s with all his mates.
        Even stevey joyce with a dildo stuck to his face makes more headlines than’ the children of the dusty road’ and the health issues it creates for them

        • Go Possum!!! Go duperez!!! Go Utopia!

          Another little point, after yesterdays topic “Why do politicians behave so badly in Parliament?”, why would we be even slightly surprized about this exchange between Key and Peters? It’s quite tame really.

          Personally, with one or two exceptions, I believe priority should be given to the road surfaces Up North rather than the bridges. As I’ve said before, some bridges might be preserved as living, working history?

          Like, almost only in the North will you cross a Depression or WW2 era one lane bridge on SH1, 12 or 16 and a vehicular ferry ride Paihia-Russell or Rawene-The Narrows. This is ‘tourist promotion’ material.

          Out past Panguru there’s a one lane bridge with a wooden surface! Its so cool, except when its wet and people slam on their brakes on it. Kinda slippery then, to the detriment of the drain and property opposite.

          Hundertwasser should have been restricted to Kawakawa in my opinion. Whangarei declined his offer decades ago. Now they’re putting their faith in it just like the yacht races and rugby games “next big event” which will put NZ on the map. This mindset is also commonly refered to as *Croc o Shite* Could just as easily done a miniature Sydney Opera House. Should’ve been a “new” design, contemporary Whangarei art gallery.

          “the children of the dusty road”

  1. Peters a million dollar muck raker? | Your NZ

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