Recently on Breaking Views, I predicted that Rt Hon Winston Peters would return to parliament next elections. (1)
This prediction was predicated on a persistently insipid performance (in my view) by the current National party leader Mr Luxon, particularly when it comes to making it clear that National will repeal all Labour’s racially divisive policies.
The elevation of ACT I also attribute to being largely assisted by traditional National voters who deserted the underperforming Hon Judith Collins in unprecedented droves last election, now having nowhere else to go as the political pendulum swings back to centre right.
Which leaves open the field of play for Winston Peters.
A large catchment of undecided vote is there for the taking. Disgruntled Labour voters who won’t vote National or Green and an equally large catchment of traditional conservative National voters, who are hostile on the Maorification of New Zealand and who remember Roger Douglas.
This week Winston emerged from the bush like a rampaging stag delivering an unequivocal message: 'Co-Governance is not Democracy' (2)
No messing about with obfuscations but consistent with what he has previously maintained. As I penned in A Step Too Far: (3)
In terms of the Treaty of Waitangi, as far as this concept intrudes on Constitutional Law, at the political level, politicians of considerable experience – from Rt Hon David Lange to Rt Hon Sir Bill English and Rt Hon Winston Peters – have all dismissed the claim that the Treaty created a, “partnership between Maori and the Crown”.
Thus, I contend this latest enunciation is not Winston jumping on a convenient bandwagon.
Will Winston stand by this latest pledge? I think he will for if nothing else, Winston’s swan song will be lauded by an overwhelming majority of New Zealanders.
To be remembered for saving New Zealand, is an epitaph to aspire too.
There is also collateral evidence which (in my view) reinforces Winston’s commitment to New Zealand first. For example, at a recent National Party former MPs reunion of the 1990 intake, Ian Peters, brother of Winston, sang a waiata.
He sang; “Rose of Scotland”.
By my assessment, an unequivocal message: The Peters’ clan is New Zealanders first from part Māori and part Scottish heritage.
Will Winston go with National/ACT or Labour/Greens?
Some commentators portend that he will go with Labour/Green.
If I was still his advisor, I would be pressing him to go with whichever side offered him the first eighteen months of the next government, as Prime Minister.
Either way, Winston will have the power to re-set New Zealand as a nation of denizens who are: “Equals before the Law”.
But also, time comes when one must look after one’s self and family -
1 Prime Minister is the only Office Winston has not attained during his tenure as an MP.
2 Eighteen months would qualify Winston for the Prime Minister’s pension and perks hereafter.
I went to school with Winston. During my time in parliament (1987 – 1996) , we were mates and post parliament I served 3 years (1999 – 2003) as his primary industries adviser. The fishing industry component of that role culminating in the Scamp Affair, saw Winston and me – part company. We are no longer mates. I will vote ACT on the appeal of Brooke van Velden as a rising star – and because I am a capitalist.
Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as a Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland spies & V.I.P. security; currently Honorary Consul for an African state, Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in New Zealand and has international business interest.