Of course Winston Peters is putting his party first

Cindy on Winston’s knee.
Photoshopped image credit: Luke

There seems to be a narrative in the media that Winston Peters is putting his party first over other parties.

Of course he’d do that, that what he was elected for, to implement the policy agenda of NZ First. Quote:

Winston Peters knows the perils of being a minor coalition partner and he’s not going to see New Zealand First swallowed by Labour and forgotten by the media.

That, as much as anything, is the reason behind the string of policy problems Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her cabinet colleagues have been faced with.

There was Justice Minister Andrew Little’s aborted bid to repeal the three strikes law and then Peters’ refusal to support raising the refugee quota to 1500.

This week two more surfaced – NZ First has concerns about the Employment Relations Amendment Bill and caused the last minute postponement of an announcement about the formation of a Maori/Crown Relations Office.

These are not “cracks in the coalition” as they’ve sometimes been referred to. The coalition isn’t in danger and won’t be as long as its member parties want the Government to survive.

Mr Peters is putting his party first, and in public, on issues he knows resonate with voters.

He’s reminding them that apart from policies locked into the coalition agreement, everything else has to have his party’s sign off.

While he’s doing this, Mr Peters is carefully playing down the differences and presenting them as business as usual in a coalition government. End quote.

Winston was elected to so this. I can’t see why it is a problem after all Labour is busily appointing as many of its own people to board positions as they can get away with. Isn’t that putting their party first?

Winston Peters is a canny politician, he is way better than anyone in Labour and marginally better than most in National. He’s cut a brilliant deal for those who voted for NZ First.

He is being helped, of course, by an inept display from most Labour ministers. In this government it is the major party that is causing problems, not the minor party like it usually is.