Peters pulls rank and blows off two Labour Māori MP initiatives

Winston Peters sounds like he is acting Prime Minister already, throwing cold water on two initiatives being promoted by Labour MPs, a bill to protect Māori seats, and aims to make Te Reo compulsory in schools.

Predictably, Rino Tirikatene’s Māori seats entrenchment bill drawn from the members’ ballot has a promise of failure with both National and NZ First indicating they won’t support it.

Stuff: A bill to entrench the Māori seats won’t get NZ First or National support

A Labour MP’s bill to entrench the seven Māori seats will not have the numbers to pass due to opposition from both NZ First and National.

Rino Tirikatene, who holds the Te Tai Tonga seat for Labour, had his member’s bill drawn out of the ballot last week.

His bill would give the seven Māori seats the same protection as the general seats, meaning a 75 per cent majority is needed to overturn them – currently Māori seats can be abolished with a majority of just 51 per cent.

But NZ First leader Winston Peters who campaigned on a referendum to abolish the Māori seats at last year’s election said his colleague Shane Jones’ position that neither he or any of the party’s MPs would vote in favour of it was a “fair summation”.

It’s understood the National Party also plans to oppose the bill – the Opposition’s position on the Māori seats is that they’ll stay as long as Māori want them but they don’t stand candidates in the seats.

The NZ First caucus will officially decide which way its voting when it meets next week but Peters said entrenching the Māori seats was “not part and parcel of any coalition agreement and we’re here to promote the coalition agreement we’ve got”.

“Views like (Tirikatene’s) can nevertheless be promoted by backbenchers but they cannot command the coalition agreement as a consequence,” Peters said.

Peters is deputy PM at the moment, but it sounds like he is practicing for when he takes over as acting PM next month.

And Labour MPs trying to talk up Te Reo in schools have been been told to ‘watch their words’ by Peters.

Stuff: Winston Peters on compulsory te reo talk: ‘If they want to be in this Government they’ll be on the same page’

NZ First leader Winston Peters says if Nanaia Mahuta and Willie Jackson want to be in the Government they will need to watch their words.

Māori Development Minister Mahuta said compulsory te reo in schools was a matter of “not if but going to be when” on Tuesday morning.

This was a slight shift from the Government’s current policy, which only calls for “universal availability” and integration of Te Reo into the primary school curriculum by 2025. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has specifically avoided the word “compulsory.”

Associate Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson made a similar slip up in December.

Peters, the deputy prime minister and leader of NZ First – who oppose compulsory te reo – issued a sharp rebuke towards Mahuta and Jackson on Tuesday afternoon.

“Neither of them are speaking for the Government policy full stop. If they want to be in this Government they’ll be on the same page.”

If he pushes his deputy weight around like this what will he be like as acting PM?

With Peters at apparent liberty to pick and choose what he won’t support this will make the Greens look like wimps if they roll over for NZ First and Labour and support the flawed and widely opposed waka jumping bill.


Leave a comment


  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  8th May 2018

    Those who bought government by buying him must be wondering if it was worth it.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  8th May 2018

      Blows off is the right expression for the silly old fart.

    • PartisanZ

       /  8th May 2018

      @Miss Kitty – “Those who bought government by buying him must be wondering if it was worth it.”

      What a remarkably perceptive comment Miss Kitty … but it might be more correctly stated –

      Those who thought they were buying government by buying him must be wondering if it was worth it?

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  8th May 2018

        I like my version better.

        • PartisanZ

           /  8th May 2018

          As do a number of others I notice … if downticks are any indication …

          But Peters failed a large chunk of his own constituency – The Right Brigade – by reneging on election platform “bottom-lines” … and I guess a few of them are still really pissed about it …?

          Now he’s lost them … and rest assured they are lost forever … why risk his own coalition government by voting against his own coalition partners …?

          He can’t win the Righties back by doing so.

  2. PartisanZ

     /  8th May 2018

    National, of course, will oppose the Bill now they don’t have Maori Party confidence & supply ‘partners’ in government …

    Fork tongued weasel snakes!

    Elsewhere regarding Winston I said “The politics of dumb and dumber” …

    But no … Idiocracy is already here.

    Some low-ranking NZFirst Party member who’s survived the Right Brigade clear-out and retains some semblance of sense – “How about we instill as much confidence as we can in the coalition government we formed?”

    Winston/Jones (in unison) – “Why?”

    • PartisanZ

       /  8th May 2018

      My best downtick score for some time …

      Hurts huh!?

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  9th May 2018

        And the winner of the most downticks is…..

        It’s probably the PDT block-ticking.

  3. PDB

     /  8th May 2018

    Peters shows who’s the real boss of the govt – even got himself a nice piece of the upcoming budget to help reopen the New Zealand embassy in Stockholm (?) with spare money left over to throw at things like the UN and world bank.

    Obviously Labour thinks things like those cheaper doctor visits they promised can wait until such important matters are dealt with first.

  4. Zedd

     /  9th May 2018

    The price of a coalition Govt. deal… had to be better than remaining in opposition, after 9 LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG years !


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