A rare Winston stumble, and Osborne finally looks in control

Mr Peters replied: “you want to legalise marijuana? I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll give you a referendum and if the answer is yes, the answer is yes. I’ll give you a vote on the referendum and if the answer is no, it’s no. Yes if you’ve got the majority, no if you haven’t. That fair enough? Wonderful.”

Asked about it later he denied he was supporting any such proposal or putting up a referendum himself, saying his comments were simply the shorthand required on a campaign trail. “I didn’t say ‘I’m going to give you the referendum. I said our policy is a referendum and if you want one, you’ve got to go and get one.”

He did not personally support it and had never smoked cannabis himself.

I’m not sure that’s truthful, but in the end it doesn’t matter. ?He’s pretty much on a constant high from nicotine and alcohol, so it’s hard to see why he’d be taking the time out for a joint.

He was setting out NZ First’s longstanding policy that citizens’ initiated referendums should be enforceable.

National’s candidate Mark Osborne said it was “typical Winston.”

“He’s out there promising everything to anyone he runs into. Actually this is about the only one of his promises he could keep, by putting up a private members bill. For the record I don’t support legalisation of marijuana and won’t be putting up a bill for it; or promising it and then unpromising it 5 minutes later.

Looks like Mark is starting to find his feet. ?Sadly, thanks to having run the Joyce/de Joux campaign until now, he’s running out of time.

The panic has stopped and has been replaced by a realisation that every single vote is now crucial as nobody can be sure who will end up the winner on the night.


– Claire Trevett, NZ Herald