Poll – replacement NZ First leader (plus more donations drip feeding)

At this stage there is no indication that Winston Peters will step down as Deputy Prime Minister pending the SFO investigation into how the NZ First Foundation has been dealing with donations. Peters has both distanced himself saying he has nothing to do with the foundation, but has also said he knows the foundation has bone nothing wrong and has been doing all the media releases and interviews in relation to the issue.

And there is no indication that Winston Peters is ready to step down as leader of NZ First or to retire from politics. He doesn’t exactly look like an energizer bunny but politically he just keeps on going (with the occasional top up of voter energy after things have gone flat).

But regardless, Newshub decided to do some polling on a replacement NZ First leader – Who Kiwis think should be NZ First leader if Winston Peters stands down

In the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll, voters were asked for their thoughts on who should take over if Peters ever stands down as New Zealand First leader.

Thee results are quite mixed.

  • Ron Mark: 17.9%
  • Shane Jones: 14.5%
  • Tracey Martin: 13.8%
  • Fletcher Tabuteau: 3.6%

The three most popular are the three most prominent NZ First MPs. All are ministers. Jones is by far the most visible (he does a lot of attention seeking), but interesting to see Mark top the poll, as he has been a much more quiet worker.

Results from NZ First voters must be suspect as the sample must be quit small, with only 3.6% preferring the party in the poll.

  • Ron Mark: 34.4%
  • Shane Jones: 18.5%
  • Fletcher Tabuteau: 13.6%
  • Tracey Martin: 2.9%

So Jones doesn’t seem very popular even amongst the few NZ First voters polled. This doesn’t mean much, but it’s a bit interesting.

Peters has always been leader of NZ First, the Peters is sometimes referred to as Winston First.

Tracey Martin was chosen as deputy leader of NZ First on 14 February 2013.

Ron Mark challenged her and was selected to replace her on 3 July 2015.

Fletcher Tabuteau replaced Mark as leader on 27 February 2018.

Meanwhile Simon Bridges hasn’t ruled out working with Winston Peters forever:

It would be ridiculous making a commitment on this for future elections, so this means less than the replacement leader polling.

Meanwhile the donations story continues to drip feed, despite Peters saying he was slaying a complaint with the police over the ‘theft’ of information from the Foundation  he has nothing to do with.

RNZ: NZ First Foundation received tens of thousands of dollars from donors in horse racing industry

The New Zealand First Foundation has been receiving tens of thousands of dollars from donors in the horse racing industry in payments which fall just below the $15,000.01 at which party donations are usually made public.

As racing minister, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has delivered significant benefits to the industry, including millions of dollars of government money spent on tax breaks and scrapping betting levies.

Records viewed by RNZ show one of the big donors was the Lindsay family. Brendan Lindsay sold the plastic storage container business Sistema for $660 million in late 2016 and a year later bought Sir Patrick Hogan’s Cambridge Stud.

Three lots of $15,000 were deposited into the bank account of the New Zealand First Foundation on 11 October, 2018, according to records viewed by RNZ.

One of the donations was in Brendan Lindsay’s own name and one was in the name of his wife, Jo Lindsay. There was a third deposit made that same day listed as Lindsay Invest Donation.

The year before – in the 2017 election year – Brendan Lindsay also donated $15,000. On the same day there is another deposit for $15,000 listed as Lindsay Trust Donation. Both were banked by the New Zealand First Foundation on 5 May, 2017.

Brendan Lindsay told RNZ, via email, that neither he nor his wife were aware of the Foundation.

Spreading payments between related people and entities all just below the disclosure threshold looks designed to avoid the law. Time will tell whether it is actually illegal or not, but can have an appearance of being deliberately deceitful.


Leave a comment


  1. On Facebook over night:

    Peters posted similar on Twitter.

    That will be the truth according to Winston. Whether it will be the whole truth and nothing but the truth will remain to be seen, pending further drip feeds and also the SFO investigation.

    • Corky

       /  12th February 2020

      I caught the tail end of Mikey saying Winston will go live on Facebook and answer all questions regarding the present SFO investigation and other matters. Has this already happened?

      • No. He posted “within the next 48 hours” on Facebook at 23:36 last night, so that makes it due some time today or tomorrow. Unless lawyers talk him out of it – it’s unusual to be full truthful about a matter under investigation by the SFO.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  12th February 2020

          How odd, we were told that ‘Mikey’ (sic) is invariably right.

          • Corky

             /  12th February 2020

            ”tail end’
            the last or hindmost part of something.
            “we joined the tail end of a queue”

            So, if I caught the tail end of what Mikey was saying, I obviously didn’t hear his preceding comments that would have given context to what I heard. What’s odd about that?

            It’s a little like me holding off on commenting about the Coronavirus because I didn’t have enough data. Other posters rushed to pontificate on things they knew nothing about.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  12th February 2020

              Some tail end; he said that this was going to happen according to you. It was a long, specific & detailed ‘tail end.’

              Yes, we all know what a tail end is, thank you, no need to parade your new discovery as if it was a revelation.

  2. artcroft

     /  12th February 2020

    PR Spin 101: Seize the narrative with bold and ludicrous statement, forcing the media to focus on something other than your sins.

  3. duperez

     /  12th February 2020

    Something bad is happening. I know that because it’s in the headlines and it’s being picked up and stirred into a major controversy.

    Someone is taking part in an activity which seeks to manage things in such a way that they fit neatly just within the law.

    (Accountants right through the country would be shocked to be accused of operating clients’ affairs to manage things in such a way that they fit neatly just within the law. Or doing things which have appearance of being deliberately deceitful to fit.)

    No worries, it’s RNZ to the rescue – their morning bird call brings us the answer!
    The Lesser Tauranga Crested Twerp chirps from the maelstrom, “You need reform where there is bad practice falling short of illegality.”

    And his canny carer asks him, “Do you want 100 birdseeds? Or 14 and 14 and 14 and 14 and 14 and 14 and 14 and 2?” 🦜🙃

    • Duker

       /  12th February 2020

      Regarding donations…has Bridges been asked if ‘he and his lawyers have given full cooperation to the police and SFO’ for THAT donations investigation. If not why not.?
      As it seems Bridges ‘ arranges Dinners with the Mr Bigs of Donations’ have any other donations been salami-ed to fit below $15000?

    • Duker

       /  12th February 2020

      Legally using loopholes …..like this
      “In December 2018, Treasury booked $637m in tobacco excise, which once again was around a third of the total it forecast for the year. The following month, in January 2019, tobacco excise dropped to $90m.”
      The prices for smokers rise after January 1 , so the tobacco giants pocket the money of the tobacco excise imported before the tax rise

      • duperez

         /  12th February 2020

        That’s a huge surprise, veritably a shock! The ripple impact of playing to the maximum of the rules will be widespread. I can imagine Super rugby coaches preparing their teams with a different outlook this week.😊

        • Duker

           /  12th February 2020

          In the US , your name and the company you work for are public even if you just give a small amount ( often online). The company name is needed as they know that a business will have coordinated giving from executives and managers to get around the absolute limit – which is quite low even by our standards. There is now secret 3rd party groups which ‘get around’ even that but they are supposed to be independent of the candidate

  1. Poll – replacement NZ First leader (plus more donations drip feeding) — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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