Another theory on Winston’s ambitions

Theories about the ambitions of Winston Peters are a staple of New Zealand political discourse. Matthew Hooton added his own in his NBR column.

Mr Peters knows that if he can get his party up another five points at the expense of Labour, Mr Little – a list MP – will not even be in parliament. The result might be something like 23% for Labour, 17% for NZ First and 12% for the Greens.

The crisis in the Labour Party would be readymade for Mr Peters to step in, declare that he will be prime minister, Ms Ardern his deputy, Mr Robertson finance minister, Mr Jones foreign minister, Phil Twyford transport and housing minister, and James Shaw climate change minister.

Ms Ardern would then become prime minister after 18 months and Mr Peters would retire, to be replaced as NZ First leader by Mr Jones, Ron Mark or Tracey Martin. Like his namesake Sir Winston Churchill in 1952, Mr Peters would see himself as mentoring his young queen as she grew into the role.

Under the circumstances towards which Mr Little appears to be leading them, why on earth wouldn’t Ms Ardern and her colleagues go for it?

It’s hard to know whether Hooton is being serious or mischievous.

My prediction – someone will be right about NZ First’s result in the election, and someone will be right about the eventual coalition arrangement. And given the variety of predictions, most people will be wrong.


  1. Bill Brown

     /  May 21, 2017

    This will be a most interesting year in NZ politics

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  May 21, 2017

      Well, I won’t be voting for Gareth Morgan. Meow.

  2. Conspiratoor

     /  May 21, 2017

    I’ve been forecasting close to 20% for a while so this prognostication from hoots comes as no surprise. Winston will ramp up the anti immigration rhetoric in the coming months and this can only help his cause

  3. Corky

     /  May 21, 2017

    National must work hard at trying to limit Winnie’s power post election. The budget is Nationals last chance. National needs to fill the pockets of those who drifted Winnie’s way.

  4. David

     /  May 21, 2017

    I am hoping for a Labour/Green/NZFirst coalition government which I can observe from anywhere else in the world and if its Winston as PM all the better.
    If the Greens dont make it this year they should really shunt off their leftist loons and just concentrate on reaching 5% and being an environmental party who can work with any government and actually achieve something. The leftie loons can hook up with the loopier members of Labour and their party members and the centrists should join with Winnie and going forward it would be non stop NZ First/national governments which 65% of the population could live with.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 21, 2017

      I’ll join you in wishing that re the Greens, David, but I think it is very unlikely. The socialists were always far more wedded to seizing and abusing central power via politics than the environmentalists. They intend to keep using the gullible latter as useful idiots in their pursuit of control over everyone’s lives and welfare and I don’t see them giving that up. So long as Labour retains a vestige of needing to appear reasonable the loony Left won’t tolerate it and will need a separate vehicle to snipe from.

    • PDB

       /  May 21, 2017

      A new environmental party focused solely on the environment and willing to work with any govt coalition to turn at least some of their policies into reality would do well in this country.

      The premise that if you vote National or ACT you must also hate the environment is totally wrong and misguided.

      • National is too much of a broad church, and my understanding is going more conservative with a few extreme religo’s on the books so they may be in for fall. If only Gareth Morgan, wasn’t Gareth Morgan, his party would stand a chance of peeling off the blue green vote….

        • PDB

           /  May 21, 2017

          Where is the proof of National going “more conservative with a few extreme religo’s on the book” – sounds like bollocks to me.

          Gareth Morgan is indeed a turn off but I suggest traditional ‘Blue-greeners’ are hardly going to vote for a party that is promoting a universal income and taxing all assets on a yearly basis including the family home, cars, paintings, antiques etc.

          • Id have to go trawling again, but there were a few more creationists in the wings waiting to get into parliament.

  5. Just had O’Connor from Labour call by at home. He impressed my wife by his presence and approach, and she felt comfortable with him as a politician. I didn’t speak with him myself as I am unable to easily get up and down the stairs, but he certainly seems to be a good chance to replace Peter Dunn as an electorate MP.