And so it starts

NZ First leader Winston Peters, who beat National’s Mark Osborne by more than 4000 votes in Saturday’s by-election, promised during the campaign to reverse “decades of neglect”.

He wants port, rail and road improvements he says are vital for the region’s future.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, who was National’s campaign manager, says losing doesn’t mean shutting out Mr Peters.

“We’ll be more than happy to work with Mr Peters to meet some of the commitments he’s made,” Mr Joyce said.

“We’re also going to focus on some of the things Northland needs to really lift itself up the rankings of the regions.”

Mr Peters says it’s time to put personality politics aside and he expects “a constructive and co-operative approach” from the government.

This is going to be fun to watch. ?One thing we do know, when Winston is bought, Winston stays bought. ?But he’s generally not cheap to buy. ? To see him bring Joyce to heel is fascinating. ?

But he says Prime Minister John Key’s attitude isn’t helping.

“Mr Key’s idea of co-operation is (the other party) agreeing with everything he says,” Mr Peters said.

There’s speculation the government will want to work with Mr Peters and forge a relationship with NZ First over the next two years because National will need a strong coalition partner for a fourth term in 2017.

John Key can’t stand Winston Peters. ?And it’s mutual. ?But I know both men have a level of pragmatism that is an essential skill in politics.

Winston won’t rest until he’s brought Key into line.

As for Joyce – he’s not much of a negotiator. ?He’s in the business of bringing the Taxpayer’s wallet and asking “how much?”.

It will be English and Key that will be Joyce’s biggest problems, because Winston will be shameless enough to demand the money one moment, and then accuse the government for not running a surplus the next.


– 3 News