Winston comes good

Winston Peters stood up to the brown mail yesterday and told the peddlers of separatism to pull their collective heads in on two issues.

The first was the bill to entrench Maori seats: Quote:

A Labour MP’s bill to entrench the seven M?ori seats will not have the numbers to pass due to opposition from both NZ First and National.

Rino Tirikatene, who holds the Te Tai Tonga seat for Labour, had his member’s bill drawn out of the ballot last week.

His bill would give the seven M?ori seats the same protection as the general seats, meaning a 75 per cent majority is needed to overturn them – currently M?ori seats can be abolished with a majority of just 51 per cent.

But NZ First leader Winston Peters who campaigned on a referendum to abolish the M?ori seats at last year’s election said his colleague Shane Jones’ position that neither he or any of the party’s MPs would vote in favour of it was a “fair summation”.

It’s understood the National Party also plans to oppose the bill – the Opposition’s position on the M?ori seats is that they’ll stay as long as M?ori want them but they don’t stand candidates in the seats.

The NZ First caucus will officially decide which way its voting when it meets next week but Peters said entrenching the M?ori seats was “not part and parcel of any coalition agreement and we’re here to promote the coalition agreement we’ve got”.

“Views like (Tirikatene’s) can nevertheless be promoted by backbenchers but they cannot command the coalition agreement as a consequence,” Peters said. End quote.

That bill is rooted then. The second bill that Winston put the kibosh on was the inane compulsory te reo bill. This time he was rather brutal. Quote:

NZ First leader Winston Peters says if Nanaia Mahuta and Willie Jackson want to be in the Government they will need to watch their words.

M?ori Development Minister Mahuta?said compulsory te reo in schools was a matter of?”not if but going to be when” on Tuesday morning.

This was a slight shift from the Government’s current policy, which only calls for “universal availability” and integration of Te Reo into the primary school curriculum by 2025. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern?has specifically avoided the word “compulsory.”

Associate?M?ori?Development Minister Willie Jackson?made a similar slip up in December.

Peters, the deputy prime minister and leader of NZ First – who oppose compulsory te reo – issued a sharp rebuke towards Mahuta and Jackson on Tuesday afternoon.

Neither of them are speaking for the Government policy full stop,” Peters said.

If they want to be in this Government they’ll be on the same page.”?End quote.

Them’s fightin’ words from Winston. He’ll be prime minister inside a month. They really had better watch their words lest they find themselves sacked. Both are pretty ordinary ministers in any case. The problem is that those below them on the pecking order aren’t much better.