Greens and NZ First clash

NZ First and the Greens clashed yesterday, indicating the nearing of the election campaign and reflecting the precarious position of both parties in the polls. Both are fighting for survival in Parliament.

After spending two years trying to show they can work productively together in Government, they are now desperate to differentiate from each other and from Labour.

Winston Peters is in full on attack mode against all parties and the media and anyone he doesn’t think will vote NZ First. In a speech yesterday morning he launched into the Greens, and James Shaw responded.

RNZ: ‘Gloves are off’ for NZ First and Greens leaders in unofficial election campaign

The unofficial campaign has well and truly kicked off with the party leaders taking the gloves off and going at each other at Parliament today.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw has described New Zealand First as a force of chaos, while Winston Peters has warned any future Labour-Greens government would be a nightmare.

It was Peters who started the war of words at a breakfast speech in Wellington this morning.

“If you want to take out some insurance in this campaign to ensure you don’t get the nightmare government I know you’re going to get, then I suggest you party vote New Zealand First,” he said.

Shaw was happy to respond.

“Well, I think that the nightmare that he’s got is that he’s not going to be back in Parliament.”

Shaw is known to be quite measured when New Zealand First pulls the pin on policies or puts a spanner in the works, but with the campaign unofficially under way he’s ramping up his own rhetoric.

“My experience of working with New Zealand First as a party in government is that rather than a force of moderation, they’re a force of chaos,” he said.

Tensions through the term are simply being allowed to come out publicly now they don’t have to worry about keeping the Government together.

In the last year or so alone, New Zealand First has put the brakes or the kaibosh on a number of Green Party policies.

New Zealand First has also been obstructive when it comes to cameras on fishing boats and outright blocked the capital gains tax.

Despite all that, Shaw said it was not New Zealand First’s leader he had an issue with, but its wider organisation.

He said things had “always been polite and it’s always been professional,” between the two, but not so much with the wider party and staff.

Asked if Peters’ staff deliberately interfered after a deal has been done between the leaders, Shaw was very clear.

“There’s definitely interference, yes that’s right, and it’s not always clear where it’s coming from.”

And it’s not just the Greens Peters is attacking. The current popularity of Labour is a problem for him.

Peters used his speech this morning to not only boast about the policies his party had stopped, but also to warn about the so-called “stupid ideas” the Greens and Labour still have.

“If you think a red-green government is safe for you then you’re in cloud cuckoo land. They know everything about how to spend your money, and not one idea about how to make some.

“They say they want to get close to you, they’re right, so they can put their hand down the side of your body and into your wallet.”

He said the last three years had been a headache due to the ministers sitting at the Cabinet table alongside him.

“I’ve never had three years so difficult, trying to manage circumstances when you’re surrounded by plain inexperience.”

Peters was happy to repeat the comments on his way into Question Time today, saying he stood by everything he said to the business audience.

Jacinda Ardern is trying to stay above the fray.

“Look, I put it down to an election period. You can also find many comments from the deputy prime minister talking about what we’ve managed to achieve as a government, which I’ve got the sense he’s been proud of,” she said.

All Ardern needs to do is as little as possible apart from stay out of trouble.

It could be an interesting campaign, especially if they have leaders’ debates with all party leaders.

Leave a comment


  1. John J Harrison

     /  22nd July 2020

    Popcorn time !
    Blood sport coming up.

    • Corky

       /  22nd July 2020

      Like gladiators of old. It’s about the only thing I like about politics. The rest is surplus to requirements for a sane productive life. I call this segment of the political cycle, the Jeremy Kyle hour.

  2. Reply
  3. Reply
    • Gezza

       /  22nd July 2020

      I didn’t see this. I posted a link to an RNZ article about it in Open Forum. Stuff & the Herald are running stories on it too now, I see.

      • Duker

         /  22nd July 2020

        Same story , licensed from RNZ
        When you are David Farrar , he got a trip courtesy of the taxpayer early in 2017 which he blogged about.
        However his tag line ‘Antarctica NZ’ for the Peters story doesnt cover that , its hidden under the tag ‘Antarctica’

        Why have different tags for the same story type ? Was there something to hide about his own freebie in these circumstances

  4. Griff.

     /  22nd July 2020

    Must be close to an election .
    Peters grandstanding to get noticed .
    He may have run out of suckers this time.

    • Duker

       /  22nd July 2020

      We are all suckers come election time , did you not notice the Greens grand promises, Nationals infrastructure spend ( over the next 25-30 years!) or Labours yet to come goodies

      • Griff.

         /  22nd July 2020

        And I will be voting on other issues
        One vote will be for the national candidate to keep Shane out of northland and hopefully NZF out of contention
        The other will be to give more leverage to the greens for their climate change polcys .
        Mmp voting

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  22nd July 2020

          I’ll be voting to scrap the RMA empires and disasters.

          • I seem to remember that it’s longer than War and Peace or Les Miserables, and nothing like so well written or entertaining as those two classics.

          • Duker

             /  22nd July 2020

            ” scrap the RMA empires and disasters”
            Guess what ? Went same way as the promise to scrap Maori seats.
            And replace with 2 more pieces of legislation, should be fun.

            Thats what National voters thought back in 2008 and 2011 but the Councils will still be there with their own District Plans and their own interpretations of the Building rules.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  22nd July 2020

              Building legislation is a separate reform. District plans will be subject to the new Urban Planning legislation.

            • Duker

               /  22nd July 2020

              Yes, the promise will raise money, but ‘execution’ didn’t happen last time either with Key government when they and Act had a majority…..
              Once fooled, twice is more fool you

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  22nd July 2020

              Strangely enough this won’t be the first time you have been wrong, Duker, and won’t be the last either.

        • Harry

           /  22nd July 2020

          So Griff wants more leverage for the Greens climate change fiction. Their climate policy is based on fraud and nonsense and is one of the main reasons why they should be voted out.


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