Peters on Labour-Green MoU

Winston Peters was asked about the Labour Green memorandum of Understanding by Katie Bradford on Q+A yesterday.

First, does he now have a better relationship with the Greens?

Winston Peters: Well, look, first of all, this memorandum of understanding the Greens have had one with the National Party. And this one, I understand, expires on election night. So, frankly, I don’t know how it works. We’ve not been a part of any discussion. And so, I suppose you’re being presented with this option: ‘Us two have got married over here, and we want New Zealand First to join us even though they’ve not been part of any discussion whatsoever.’

Peters didn’t answer the question.

It’s hard to believe that there has not been any discussion whatsoever between anyone in Labour and anyone in NZ First about the Memorandum. I’ve seen claims that there has been.

Katie Bradford:  But did you really think they would come to you and talk to you? You wouldn’t have had a bar of it.

Winston Peters: The reality is that on some things we’ve cooperated with all sorts of parties. You know, on the Reserve Bank Act getting amended, we got within one vote of getting that done – twice. But the idea that you would go out there with a pre-arrangement on a deck of cards you’ve never read, we simply can’t see how that works. And if it’s going to end on election night, then what is it about?

He didn’t answer that question either.

Katie Bradford: You haven’t answered my original question, which was, ‘Do you have a better relationship with the Greens now than you have in the past?’ James Shaw said you and Metiria are good friends. Deborah Morris-Travers is obviously now the chief of staff for the Greens. She was a former MP of you. I mean, is this a good sign?

Winston Peters: It seemed he came to that interview to talk about New Zealand First, and I’ve just seen the interview. One party doesn’t go into those sorts of arrangements, because we don’t know how the cards will fall.

He didn’t answer those questions.

Katie Bradford: But I’m asking you about your relationship with the Greens.

Winston Peters: Let me make one thing very clear. We have a very good relationship with everybody, as you well know, including New Zealand media.

He didn’t answer the question again, and his response must be a joke. He smirked as he said it.

Katie Bradford: Okay, but do you have a better relationship with the Greens now than you did in the past, and with Labour, for that matter?

Winston Peters: I mean, I never attacked the Greens in the past…

Another question avoided and another laughable response.

Now, there’s no doubt about the Greens, if you look at their manifesto, for a parallel state. Now, we are not going to compromise our policies on critical things to do with this country’s social and economic advancement.

That looks like an attack on the Greens, in almost the same breath he says he has never attacked the Greens.

Katie Bradford: But you are saying, then, that perhaps on areas like immigration you would be able to work better than in the past. Who’s your favourite Green? If you had to name one, who would you prefer to go…?

Winston Peters: Now, what I’m saying to you is that I can’t understand why Labour did this, because it’s from a position of weakness, and the only beneficiary will be the Greens. And their supporters will find that out very quickly. That’s been my experience in politics.

He doesn’t answer the questions again.

Otherwise it’s hard to argue with his comment.

Katie Bradford: So you think Labour will suffer as a result of this?

Winston Peters: New Zealand First is not coming in from a position of weakness. We will grow this party seriously, and all the signs are saying that, all the polls say that.

He doesn’t answer the question. Otherwise his response seems reasonable, NZ First looks to be in a position of strength, particularly compared to Labour and the Greens.

Katie Bradford: The numbers show that. The numbers show Labour and the Greens would need New Zealand First if they were to govern. Therefore, would you not say to the voters, ‘Well, this is a viable option’?

Winston Peters: No, what’s viable is what is sound for the country economically and socially. If, for example — two things go with this — mass immigration continued and, for example, a parallel state where you’ve got a state within a state because of separatist racist laws, then we will not go down that path, and I’m saying it right now.

He answered a question!

He appears to state unequivocally two bottom lines but they are not clearly defined.

It’s highly questionable that ‘mass immigration’ applies to New Zealand.

And ‘a parallel state’ and ‘separatist racist laws’ are emotive but very non-specific, so there’s plenty of wiggle room there.

Katie Bradford: So voters next year, it’ll continue to be the line from you – wait and see.

Winston Peters: No, voters will have a choice. They’ll have a real choice with New Zealand First, because on some of these issues, the only party making a stand is us, and we’re the party that’s been proven right in so many areas now.


He answered another question, incorrectly and misleadingly.

Voters will have a number of choices of course, but Winston’s line has been ‘wait and see’ for many years, he refuses to state any possible coalition arrangements he would consider and discuss prior to an election.

Winston is adept at sounding like he is ‘making a stand’ but he never defines exactly what stands he is making. He is practised at sounding like he is making strong stands but when you look at what he actually says it vague and waffly and avoids answering simple questions.

And “we’re the party that’s been proven right in so many areas now” is highly questionable – Peters claims, insinuates and accuses but most of the time he avoids substantiating or backing up his assertions.

I think what we can most assume from this interview and his other responses to the Labour-Green MoU is that Peters will strongly oppose the Greens and this agreement and a number of vague aspects of immigration and the Treaty of Waitangi – unless it suits his interests to do otherwise.

Interview: Winston Peters dismisses Labour Green alliance


Leave a comment


  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th June 2016

    Winston inhabits a parallel universe in which all questions are answered at an obligatory tangent that results in the interviewer losing the desire to live.

    • Gezza

       /  6th June 2016

      They don’t lose the desire to live Alan, they just lose the desire to interview him again.

      • Except they don’t seem to lose that desire. Despite the contempt Peters keeps treating questions and interviews and interviewers he keeps getting disproportionately more coverage than most MPs and remarkably little holding to account for what he says or avoids saying.

        • Gezza

           /  6th June 2016

          Perhaps there’s just an element of silly old duffer in it for the MSM now.

          • Gezza

             /  6th June 2016

            I mean, I watched him, and I thought he was amusing, he did exactly what I thought he would, and has done for years, but there was nothing to back up what he said, no details, just slogans – though the clips of the new faces in Main Street & marketland Auckland admirably made his case.

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  6th June 2016

    I hate to agree with WP, but it’s good to reiterate that the marriage that has been announced between the Greens and Labour will dissolve itself on election day.


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