Joyce on the backfoot about Northland

Economics Development Minister Steven Joyce is not buying the idea that NZ First leader Winston Peters is open to negotiating reform of the Resource Management Act.

The Government wants to reform the law covering the environmental impacts of developments but it will be harder to do if Mr Peters wins next Saturday’s Northland by-election.

Mr Peters told The Nation today if RMA reforms were sound and made sense “you could find us backing them but we haven’t been asked”.

National is underlining the seriousness of the by-election for the stability of the New Zealand Government in the last week of the campaign.

If Mr Peters wins Northland, National will be stuck on 59 seats in the 121 seat Parliament and NZ First will gain one seat, going up to 12.

National has support from ACT with one seat, United Future with one seat, and the Maori Party with two. The support is for confidence votes only and day-to-day bills are negotiated.

Instead of underlining why a National electorate MP would be better for Northland, Joyce is talking about how Winston Peters can’t be trusted to work together with National.

Notice the difference?

Instead of setting the agenda and telling Northland that Osborne is the next best thing to political Jesus Christ, they have to rely on enough people thinking that Peters will be bad for… the RMA reform.

Will Northland voters care about RMA reform?

No.

They want to know how they will be rewarded for having an MP that doesn’t take them for granted. ?And if they can’t do that, they’ll continue to give National the middle finger.

In the mean time,?Peters has smoothed the waters by stating he can work together with National over RMA reform. ?No doubt the price will be substantial. ?I suspect a Super-Gold card will turn into a Super-Platinum card, and it will set NZ First up to be a coalition partner in the next government.

A week to go, and National are still on the back foot. ?Winston is controlling?a dozen MPs and their “expert” election team all by himself. ?Well, all by himself and a media that National just can’t get to tell their side of the story.

 

– 3 News

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