Seymour versus Peters hots up

David Seymour and Winston Peters have been clashing for a while. As we get towards the business end of the election campaign their feuding is hotting up.

Seymour in a speech in Parliament on Wednesday:


But then you come round to New Zealand First. What a disaster. There is Winston Peters. He has been sacked from Cabinet three times by three different Prime Ministers. He has been voted out of two electorates, and the third electorate has not had an opportunity to vote him out yet, but help is on its way. It is going to vote him out on 23 September. This is a guy who has more bottom lines than a 100-year-old elephant. He is now up to 9 bottom lines. He has peaked too early in this election, and he is going to find out that the problem with Winston Peters politicking is eventually you run out of other people’s gullibility. He still has not paid back the $158,000—

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

DAVID SEYMOUR: —and frankly, the way he campaigns is racist.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! A point of order—the Rt Hon Winston Peters.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I will tolerate a fair bit from that member, but I will not tolerate him getting up and making deceptive, deceitful statements like that. I know what we paid back—all $158,000, in circumstances—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member will resume his seat. [Interruption] Order! That is not a point of order. [Interruption] Order! That is not a point of order. That is very much a debating matter. The member can continue his speech, and if the member feels he has been misrepresented throughout the speech there is another means. It is not raised on the floor of the House, and I refer the member to Standing Order 359.

DAVID SEYMOUR: If one ACT MP can get that far under Winston Peters’ thin skin, imagine how far five ACT MPs could get. He does not like it up him but the ACT Party has kept him out of power for the last three elections, and we are going to do it again. I understand his frustration, but he has got to stay there.

Peters responded in the same debate:

We have seen the last National Party polls—the most recent ones—and it is all bad news for them, for them, and a whole lot of parties here, but it is good news for one other party. Take a wild guess which party that is.

We do not care about Epsom’s three-quarters of a million dollars bludger and his cuckolded behaviour in this Parliament.

Seymour followed up: ACT to keep the cabal of crooks out of office

“Metiria Turei’s proud theft of taxpayer money qualifies her perfectly as a Green Party activist. However, it should exclude her from ever entering Government. The people who write our laws should not thieve from the taxpayers who already pay their salaries.

“That goes for Winston Peters too,” says Mr Seymour.

“Yesterday in the House he claimed to have ‘paid out’ the $158,000 in taxpayer money he illegally spent during the 2005 election. The truth is Parliamentary Services never got this money back, leaving taxpayers with the bill. I’ve laid a complaint with the Privileges Committee today over Mr Peters’ attempt to mislead the House. Just like Metiria Turei, Winston Peters is a fraud, and should never be let near the baubles of office again.

“The safest way to keep the cabal of crooks out of Parliament is with a stronger ACT. With more MPs we’ll ensure stable National-led Government, while also forcing National to address issues they’ve ignored, like New Zealand’s chronic housing and infrastructure deficit.”

Yesterday to media Peters referred to Seymour as “a cuckolded political prostitute”.

This is a part of the competition for attention that has ramped up significantly.

Seymour is trying to claw ACT support up so he has at least one MP working alongside him.

Peters would seem to wish that ACT disappears from Parliament.

ACT’s one vote has been enough to keep NZ First out of a balance of power position after Peters won the Whangerei by-election. It is possible that this could be repeated after September’s election, depending on how close National get to a majority.

With Labour languishing and Greens taking what looks like a desperate gamble the best chance of Peters getting power is with National, and he won’t want to be competing for that with Seymour.

But feuding with Seymour is a side show for Peters. It’s hard to see him improving the NZ First vote much by having an ongoing spat with Seymour.

Seymour is fighting to remain relevant. It looks likely he will keep his Epsom seat, but is struggling to lift ACT’s support enough to get a second MP in on the list.

But Seymour probably has more to gain by attracting attention from Peters, because the media tend to go where Peters goes.

Seymour’s position in a Government alliance does look a bit precarious, and NZ First strength could sideline him. But he is young and potentially has many years ahead of him for a political career.

Peters must be getting near the end of his long career. This election may be his last shot at the Government limelight, so it could be boom or bust for him. So he has more to lose if he gets dragged down by feuding Seymour.

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  1. Corky

     /  July 28, 2017

    When you look at Winstons record as portrayed by Seymour, Peters is on balance a loser.
    His talent is talking up his Gold Card and talking common sense on issues he knows he will never have face.

    Nationals aim must always be to form a government without Peters. That aim looks more possible with Earth Mother and Shaw causing major damage to the Greens brand.

    • Gezza

       /  July 28, 2017

      👍🏼 Wot he said.

    • Brown

       /  July 28, 2017

      Yep. Peters looks tired and is no longer quick witted like he was. He has always been an accomplished career politician which means full of shit.

      • John Schmidt

         /  July 28, 2017

        He has never been quick witted, all through his career he has trip on his tongue as his mouth leapt ahead of his brain leaving him to stumble over his words.

  2. Gezza

     /  July 28, 2017

    The more I see of Speaker Carter the more I warm to him. He’s far from being amongst the best, he protects his party on occasion, I think, but he has a dry wit I’m finding enjoyable, & often just can’t suppress a smile at their antics, when he’s giving someone a necessary verbal spanking.

    Yesterday, during Question Time, & tired of the constant barracking coming from the Government Benches – he basically, very clearly, told Big Gez Brownlee to grow up, shut up & behave!

  3. sorethumb

     /  July 28, 2017

    The question is, who does Act represent? You notice those calling for high immigration wont engage with Michael Reddell or Kerry McDonald, they just talk as though his arguments didn’t exist.

  4. Gezza

     /  July 28, 2017

    I watched that clip. I like Seymour. Although before I became a regular, occasionally thoughtful reader & contributor on this blog I would never have considered it possible – if my Party Vote this time, (for very carefully-considered reasons) wasn’t going to The Maori Party – it would be highly likely to go to ACT.

    • Blazer

       /  July 28, 2017

      What policies do you like?

      • Gezza

         /  July 28, 2017

        Partnership Schools to address & remedy illiteracy & undeserved lack of real educational opportunity & success for Maori, for one.

        Who are you voting for?

        • Blazer

           /  July 28, 2017

          So conventional schooling is deficient in your opinion, ?

          • Gezza

             /  July 28, 2017

            Definitely appears to be, for some, yes. And the state system, which I inmost respects otherwise strongly support, can’t fix this.

        • Gezza

           /  July 28, 2017

          No need to answer if it’s too embarrassing to say. It’s absolutely your right to not disclose.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  July 28, 2017

            As long as he votes though eh? Can’t have two non-voters on the blog – people would start talking.

          • Blazer

             /  July 28, 2017

            No embarrassment at all.Surprised you isolate schools as your priority as you usually have a more comprehensive overview of the merits of ….political parties and their policies.

            • Gezza

               /  July 28, 2017

              Yes, I do. And there are others. But sometimes there might be an issue that is, for me, personally, so important that it overrides other considerations & could be the most important thing that decides my vote – at least once.

              What policies of what party do you like?

            • Gezza

               /  July 28, 2017

              No need to answer, or to say it’s not too embarrasing to say, if it’s too embarrassing to say. It’s absolutely your right to not disclose.

            • Blazer

               /  July 28, 2017

              Got a thing about. ..embarrassment. .Gezza?

            • Gezza

               /  July 28, 2017

              No. Just curious why you never answer questions like that when you seem to like to pose them yourself? And suggesting why that might be, & wondering if you might clarify if that’s not why?

              Got a thing about just *tweeting* again, today Blazer?

            • Gezza

               /  July 28, 2017

              Don’t answer if there’s no reason or it would just be a stupid or nasty one.

  5. Peters certainly cant take the heat from Seymour. The main heckler when Peters pontificates is in that area of Parliament 🙂
    Keeping it honest

  6. No love lost then!

    • Gezza

       /  July 28, 2017

      What’s the $158k all about?

      I don’t even bother to try & keep a mental record of all the various allegations & scandals over the years any more – I just focus on the latest.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  July 28, 2017

        2008 / 2009:

        “NZ First leader Winston Peters yesterday handed over a cheque for $158,000 to the hospital for paediatric research.

        It was welcomed by the hospital but rival parties said it was a stunt.

        Auditor-General Kevin Brady earlier identified $1.17 million in unlawful election spending, of which Labour owed the lion’s share with $768,000.

        Parliament passed legislation to validate the spending but most political parties said they would pay it back, and did.

        They paid the money back to Parliamentary Services but Mr Peters said he did not want to see it lost into the coffers of the Wellington bureaucracy.

        Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said everyone would be happy to see Starship Hospital get money.

        “But this is not a generous gesture by New Zealand First to Starship Hospital, this is a generous donation by the taxpayers to Starship Hospital and let’s not be confused about that,” she told Radio New Zealand.

        ACT leader Rodney Hide said Mr Peters was grandstanding and the stunt was calculated to win public sympathy.

        It was “unethical” that rather than just pay up the debt, Mr Peters was trying to gain “political capital” out of it.

        National leader John Key said he would leave it for the public to judge whether Mr Peters had taken the right course of action.”

        • Gezza

           /  July 28, 2017

          Merci, M’sieu.

          • Actually Starship ended up returning the money. He reckoned he then gave it to the Susan Couch Trust, but evidence to support this is scant.

            The whole thing was shonky and Peters, as is his want, has no problem not returning the $158,000 he misapppropriated from Parliamemtary Services. Yes folks, Mr Peter got away with it too.

            “It’s trust deed is online at the Companies Office.

            The trust deed was signed on 15 August 2008 and the application was signed on 20 August 2008. But Winston announced the donation around 16 June 2008. So how did he make a donation to a trust that seemingly was not then formed?

            The contact person is Brian Coburn of Hesketh Henry in Auckland. He is one of the three Trustees. The other two are Brian Henry and Dennis Gates.

            Yes two of the three Trustees are Winston’s personal lawyers – his solicitor and his barrister!! Half the $158,000 has gone to a trust run by both his personal lawyers.

            The settlor is Kevin Gillespie, an Auckland Accountant. Gillespie, Henry and Gates are all Directors of Goldman Henry Capital Management and in business together. They had some problems with the Securities Commission in 2004 incidentally, after the Commission found their prospectus did not comply with securities law and omitted a material particular. The investment statement was also found “likely to deceive, mislead, or confuse with regard to particulars that are material to the offer of securities”.

            The Trust objects include “such other objects which the Board from time to time declares provided that such objects and purposes are charitable and involve the support and rehabilitation of crime victims”.

            Board members can get remuneration for services rendered to the Trust. In fact it specifically allows such remuneration even if the work only comes about by virtue of being a Trustee. Note I am not suggesting any Trustee has received any money – just that as with most Trusts, they can.

            There is no reference to Susan Couch in the trust deed, except being the name of the trust. Couch is not listed as the Patron, and the three Trustees have total power over the Trust. She is not listed specifically as a beneficiary either. Again the Trustees have total discretion over who the money goes to (so long as within the objects), and Couch has no rights or say at all. So the Herald is wrong when they say it is “A trust for Susan Couch”.”

            Think on this those who’d vote for this man.


            • The murkiness of NZ Firsts finances and the whole Brian Henry involvement is extraordinary.

              “A deeply cynical act
              Few acts are more cynical than NZ First’s giving $78,000 to The Susan Couch and Crime Victims Charitable Trust (trustee: Brian Henry) instead of repaying the taxpayer the $158,000 of taxpayer money illegally spent by NZ First in the 2005 campaign.

              What is even worse, is that the $78,000 isn’t really from the members and grossroots of NZ First. The Vela Family donated $80,000 to NZ First in late 2007, to allow this donation to be made.

              So what you actually have is a very wealthy, foreign domiciled, racing industry family has donated $80,000 to NZ First (whose Leader has forced the Government to pur massive funding into the racing industry) so they could give the money to the Susan Couch trust – and claim this is somehow paying the taxpayer back.

              I joked at the time that they had probably donated the money to the Spencer Trust. Instead it has gone to a trust partly controlled by Winston’s lawyer. Ms Couch will be Patron of the Tust which suggests she won’t even be a Trustee herself – are there other Trustees?

              To be fair to Brian Henry, he has been acting for free for Ms Couch in her fight to sue Corrections, and he is definitely on the side of the angels on this occasion for his actions to help Couch. While critical of Henry’s statements and actions over Owen Glenn, I make no such criticism in regards to this issue.

              But that doesn’t change the fact that NZ First should be paying the taxpayer back, not making charitable donations on our behalf, and that having decided to make such donations they are ill-advised to make the major donation to a trust controlled by their lawyer.”


            • Blazer

               /  July 28, 2017

              @Trav. …not sure Sir Peter Vela .knows he is…foreign domiciled.

  7. Rustinator

     /  July 28, 2017

    I also always wondered if NZ first claimed the donation rebate meaning they would have received a third of the amount back from the IRD.

    • Gezza

       /  July 28, 2017

      Rt Hon Winston Peters
      Primary Email:

      Primary Phone: 04 817 8370
      Out of Office Phones
      09 438 4037 (Whangarei), 09 407 1545 (Kerikeri), 09 439 0095 (Dargaville), 09 408 1176 (Kaitaia)

      Twitter: @winstonpeters

      Facebook: Winston Peters

      Primary Address: FREEPOST, Parliament Buildings, 6160, Wellington

    • Yes, salient point indeed

  8. sorethumb

     /  July 28, 2017

    Political parties which represent vested interests are never short of cash, so stop looking at NZ First.
    From The Landlord Says:
    Meanwhile the National Party released its immigration policy. You may wonder what this means for the property market. It is clear from research that immigration is one of the key drivers of house price growth.
    The logic is simple. If you import more people into the country, then you need more houses. Supply and demand means that prices are then pushed up, this is particularly so in Auckland.
    While the latest immigration numbers show the number of people coming into New Zealand is starting to rise, the Nat’s policy looks like it wants to increase immigration levels even further. (Although it is unclear what sort of number they are targeting.)
    This policy is, arguably, a plus for people who want house prices to rise. (But may be not so good for first home owners wanting to buy.)
    My guess has always been that property investors lean heavily towards the right rather than the left. (This was made clear in an email newsletter I saw from one developer this week.)

  1. Seymour versus Peters hots up — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition