Gower’s disgraceful power play

Newshub’s Patrick Gower seems to have become a willing messenger in NZ First’s power plays in trying to get a governing deal with National or Labour.

To Gower being the story seems to have taken a priority over objectivity and holding politicians and parties to account.

It looks to me like he has allowed himself to be used in a disgraceful power play.

Last night Gower’s big headline was saying “the most important thing” he learnt is that “a senior NZ First source” told him “it is 50-50” whether Peters chooses National or Labour-Greens – see Negotiating teams being assembled.

Tonight he had either talked to a different senior NZ First Party source or his source decided an entirely different approach might help their negotiating position.

Patrick Gower: Winston Peters wants utu from Steven Joyce

More on the headline later.

A New Zealand First source has told Newshub Peters is particularly resentful towards Steven Joyce, whom he personally detests.

Peters believes Joyce orchestrated a four-pronged attack against him by National:

Steal NZ First policies

The first prong was to steal policies and ideas from Peters, or suggest ones which would appeal to his voters.

No one owns policies so they can’t be stolen. But it’s common for parties to promote policies to help them compete for votes. Labour did it too, As did the Greens. It’s not a crime, it’s normal politics.

Squash his party vote

The second prong was to squash his party vote. The idea was to boost National’s popularity, while forcing Peters’ head below the 5 percent threshold.

That’s kind of what elections are about – maximising your own vote and trying to minimise the votes of everyone else. NZ First tried to poach, steal or attract votes from other parties too. As did all the others.

Drive him out of Northland

With the third prong, drive him out of Northland, they ran a successful, gloves-off campaign with Matt King. He beat Peters to become the local MP.

Trying to win an electorate, especially one your party had held safely for decades until Peters ran a successful campaign against them in a by-election, is rather normal political competitiveness.

Drop a scandal on him

And last but not least: Peters believes National dropped a scandal on him.

His pension over-payment was leaked to the media. It hit him hard but didn’t knock him down.

Gower repeated a number of vague assertions and accusations but providing zero evidence to back them up, repeating accusations Peters had made before the election, also without producing evidence.

That’s shoddy journalism.

Winston Peters’ second National victim

Paula Bennett has been upfront about the fact she won’t be Deputy Prime Minister any more.

That isn’t known yet, but both Bennett and Labour’s deputy Kelvin Davis have conceded their positions might be up for negotiation. Both normal possibilities in coalition wrangling – but Gower has chosen to claim one as a victim – a victim of his poor reporting.

She follows David Carter, who has to give up being Speaker because Peters hates him and won’t countenance it.

A vague assertion also claimed last night.

Now he wants utu – revenge.

Winston Peters could be out for revenge against National over their attempts to take him down during the campaign.

If accurate – and it may be just someone in NZ First getting a compliant Gower to play power games for them – this would be an appalling way to decide who runs the next government.

I thought Peters was supposed to be aware of the responsibility involved in forming a government, and I though he valued integrity. This is an awful way to conduct pre-negotiations.

A decent journalist would not allow himself to get carried away with a story fed to him by a ‘senior party person’.

A proper journalist would be questioning whether this is was an acceptable way to conduct negotiations or decide on who is in government.

This is disgraceful from Gower, and if he is acting as a power puppet of NZ First then it is disgraceful of them too.

UPDATE: The plot thickens


A strong but good statement from Peters. I agree, it looks close to the very worst form of ‘journalism’.

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  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  26th September 2017

    Could be getting to the point where National says no thanks and tries to tempt a couple of waka jumpers who might come cheaper.

    • If I was advising National I would tell them to seriously consider telling them to get stuffed unless they can negotiate responsibly.

      But perhaps there’s some value in NZ First being publicly exposed for game playing agendas before they go with a more desperate for power Labour with tag-alongs the Greens.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  26th September 2017

        I turned the news off in disgust tonight. I am heartily sick of Prick Gower’s insinuations-he says even the most innoculous thing as if it was something disgusting and immoral-and cannot imagine why this nasty little toad keeps his job.

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  26th September 2017

    It’s like the ever anonymous ‘source close to the palace’ who reveals things about the Royal Family-a source close to the palace says that the Queen is divorcing Prince Philip and will marry Donald Trump next year.”.

    • Ooo, I hadn’t heard that one. Gosh, I hope the Don likes Corgis. I wonder if she gets to take the Queen’s Guards. I can just imagine them parading outside the White House, so much potential for tourism. Now who’s going to keep the Prince in check?

  3. Interestingly, Peters emphatically denies Gower’s allegations. They can’t both be right, so who’s telling porkies?


    • I’ve added Peters’ statement to the post.

      It didn’t sound like Winston’s way of doing things. Gower and someone from NZ First seem to have way overstepped here.

      • I can’t help but wonder if the “anonymous” phone call to Gower came from the same phone that made the “anonymous” phone call to Lloyd Burr about Winston Peters’s superannuation woes.

        If you recall, all the oxygen had been sucked out of Peters’ and NZF’s campaign by media-induced Jacindamania. So what better way to get some airtime than to self-leak details of something that has already been sorted out, then accuse your opposition of “dirty politics”.

    • Conspiratoor

       /  26th September 2017

      Gowers a snake

      I’m not sure you would regard this as a ringing endorsement but apparently he’s a man of his word and an absolute delight to work with …or so say James and Annette


  4. Sponge

     /  26th September 2017

    and I though he valued integrity.

    Peters and integrity? Don’t make me laugh.

  5. duperez

     /  26th September 2017

    “This would be an appalling way to decide who runs the next government.”

    It might be a way, but is it an “appalling ” way? It’s just politics, it’s just the media, anything goes, anything is acceptable.

    I saw Gower at his orgasmic worst. No big deal, it reminded me of the roar from the deer farm over the road. All big deal, full of noise, bluster and intent right on that spot, at the time but of no significance to the rest of the world past the moment the sound dissipates.

  6. unitedtribes2

     /  26th September 2017

    I think Gower was talking to Whale Oil not NZF.

  7. David

     /  26th September 2017

    Richard Prosser would be my call on the source. All the media are being grossly idiotic with their speculation but Gower is out of control and perhaps desperate to see his darling Adern in charge and be the inside man.

  8. Gezza

     /  26th September 2017

    Gower is an idiot. That’s so fkn obvious to anyone who watches 1ewes & Q & A & who flips over to tv3 for a change. I’d pay more attention to Giggles Bradford than that sucker.

  9. Whatever, isn’t this the same finger-pointing Patrick Gower who “called out” Bill English’s stance on income tax? Someone needs to tell him there are three just as outraged fingers pointing back.

  10. Fight4NZ

     /  27th September 2017

    This is priceless! You all having a big tantrum over Paddy putting doubts about you all being saved from a red/green holocaust. If only you could get that sort of talk muzzled and only believers like Hoskings could broadcast.
    Oh actually that is pretty much how it is.

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