MPs climb off the benches and onto the campaign trail

With the valedictory speeches spoken and the last niggles niggled, parliament wrapped up its business today. Enjoy a quiet weekend, because it'll be all-out campaigning from next week.

Perhaps the most interesting point was Winston Peters' suggestion that he could pick up the party votes of  "tens of thousands" of Maori voters. It could be Peters' last shot at survival,and given that he was harping on Radio Waatea earlier this week about how the Maori Party betrayed him, it does give some hint as to the voters he's targeting to get New Zealand First back up over 5%. But Labour and the Maori Party will have something to say about that.

One question: The newspaper websites are all carrying the same NZPA story of the final session. Does that mean the papers' own journos all headed to the pub early today?

Comments (3)

by Michael Appleton on September 27, 2008
Michael Appleton

Leaving betrayal aside, the idea that the Maori Party was bullied by the Maori Affairs Minister over the Peters Affair is preposterous, and the breathless media coverage of Pita Sharples' claims was credulous to put it mildly. A more accurate headline would be: Politician Lobbies Another Politician!

by Arthur Davis on September 28, 2008
Arthur Davis

I do not find the suggestion of bullying as preposterous as Gary. I thought that Pita Sharples was credible and sound in his comments, as usual.

by Tim Watkin on September 29, 2008
Tim Watkin

Arthur, I'm afraid I made the same point as Gary on my Newstalk slot with Larry Williams on Friday. MPs phone and lobby each other all the time, and Winston would have been the top of every hall-way conversation in recent weeks. The question is not the call, but the tone and content of that call. But simply to warn of 'repercussions' is hardly threatening behaviour, I would have thought.

The interesting point though is that any 'repercussions' could be more serious for the Maori Affairs minister than for Sharples. If Maori voters do feel sympathetic towads Peters, it's their party vote they're most likely to change. Given that Labour still dominates the Maori party vote, any swing to New Zealand First only hurts Labour.

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