Peters successfully played to support base over 3 strikes

While Andrew Little has taken a hit after his back down on repealing the 3 strikes legislation, Winston Peters will be feeling quite happy with himself – and many NZ First supporters and potential voters will also be happy.

But Ardern’s leadership of Government has also taken a hit.

Peters has played Little and won handsomely. And the timing of the Peters power play is smart (or fortuitous) too, just before Peters takes over as acting Prime Minister

Tracey Watkins (Stuff): Three strikes lesson – Winston won’t be a token prime minister

Little has been dealt a short, sharp and brutal lesson in real politik by the master of MMP, Peters.

In doing so, Peters has reinforced NZ First’s credentials with its supporters as a vital handbrake on Labour and the Greens, especially when they get too far ahead of public opinion, particularly on touch-stone issues like law and order.

Some valuable credibility for peters and NZ First.

And he has given warning that Peters will be far from a token prime minister whenArdern hands over the reins sometime in the next week or so to give birth.

It has been Peters’ bug bear for years that the big parties still act like first past the post governments under MMP.

…Little fell right into the same hole when he publicly announced two weeks ago he was taking a paper to Cabinet proposing to repeal the law, when he hadn’t even bothered to consult NZ First.

It should have been as obvious to Little as everyone else that repealing the three strikes law was anathema to a law and order party like NZ First.

Little’s face has copped the egg this time, but ‘everyone else’ includes Ardern and her office too. It must have been obvious to them that Little was heading for an embarrassing back down.

So did Ardern let Little walk into this? She and her advisers can’t have been blind to the obvious Peters position on this. otherwise it looks like a major oversight – incompetence.

Regardless of how this came about Peters heads into his role as acting PM with Little’s power pricked somewhat, with a clear warning to other Labour Ministers too.


Ardern is on RNZ now saying a 3 strikes repeal was ‘one small part’ of judicial reform. Trying to play down the debacle.

When pushed she concedes that the repeal is ‘off the table’, despite Little claiming yesterday he would still try to get NZ First support.

Ardern claims the public promotion of a policy that could never succeed ‘is simply democracy and MMP’. It’s a cock-up by Labour, and Ardern is as responsible for it as Little.

Ardern closes saying that the 3 strikes disaster speaks to the strength of the multi party Government. This isn’t a good example to promote.

26 Comments

  1. sorethumb

     /  June 12, 2018

    Adern handled it well – She simply explained that this is coalition government – this is democracy?

  2. Gezza

     /  June 12, 2018

    I frankly doubt that both Little & Ardern just blindly blundered into this shambles. Smells of a clever set-up by someone very good at double-talk. No names though.

    • Chuck Bird

       /  June 12, 2018

      Either that or Peters agreed support but after poor polling and seeing the public’s support of retaining 3 strikes changed his mind.

  3. Zedd

     /  June 12, 2018

    perhaps after several polls showing NZF below 5%.. they decided to ‘flex their muscles’ on this issue.. yes; ‘playing to their support base’.. I think its called ? :/

    Mr Little said ‘he thought he had a handshake agreement’ but jumped the gun with announcing it, before getting ‘the final nod’.. that’s politics folks

    • Zedd

       /  June 12, 2018

      listening briefly to ZB this a.m. (Hoskins) someone emailed & said ‘This Govt. are in total disarray.. they should quit now & call another election’ .. Hoskins said ‘whilst he could agree.. it was very unlikely to happen’ (paraphrased)

      All I can say to this; “how totally bloody ridiculous.. welcome to MMP people !!” 😀
      thats how real COALITION Govts. work.. negotiations not dictatorship

      • adamsmith1922

         /  June 12, 2018

        Then please explain Oil & Gas decision which seems dictatorial

        • Zedd

           /  June 12, 2018

          really ?

          • adamsmith1922

             /  June 12, 2018

            Not an explanation

            • High Flying Duck

               /  June 12, 2018

              And yet still the best explanation we’ve had from anyone on this issue.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 12, 2018

      I don’t believe Ardern could have risked hanging Little out to dry on this. Deceiving your own Ministers deliberately is a recipe for revolt. Nor do I believe Little would have agreed to go along with it knowingly. He is not smart but not that thick.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 12, 2018

        In short I agree with Gezza. The old geeza with a lot of form dunnit.

      • adamsmith1922

         /  June 12, 2018

        Fair point, do not agree as both sides got a win, but a fair view

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 12, 2018

          I think that WP set AL up for a fall, and it worked. No PM would risk making a fool of a minister in this way.

          But it may be a Pyrrhic victory.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 12, 2018

            Winston’s victories are always Pyrrhic. That’s the only way he can continue to portray himself as an outsider fighting the establishment. So even if he wins he’ll burn the house down.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 12, 2018

              The man must be either unbelievably thinskinned or thickskinned, I don’t know which.

  4. Zedd

     /  June 12, 2018

    during Q-time Winston seemed to be ‘back-peddling’ & saying this was ‘still on the table’ & could be part of the wider review into the prisons & incarceration;
    the ‘just lock em up’ attitude over the last decade.. overcrowded prisons

    • Gezza

       /  June 12, 2018

      Mustafa Shufti here.
      Will check out QT later.

  5. Patzcuaro

     /  June 13, 2018
    • Patzcuaro

       /  June 13, 2018

      Wrong thread

      • Gezza

         /  June 13, 2018

        Possibly. But remember we don’t know who Rawshark is & I’m not ruling Winston out.

  1. Peters successfully played to support base over 3 strikes — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition