Want to know all the bottom lines Winston Peters has laid down this year?

Reports today talk about Winston Peters laying down "the ground rules" for coalition negotiations and setting out "priority areas he wants addressed". And it's interesting that the indications he's making now aren't exactly in line with what he's said previously.

Yesterday he gave a speech in Porirua talking about coalitions, and he was especially critical of National's tax cut plans and Labour's capital gains tax. Peters said National must be having "a private laugh at the public’s expense" by promising "virtual tax cuts" in 2017. And he reckoned there'd have to be changes to Labour's capital gains tax for him to support that.

But let's not pretend Peters has only just started positioning himself. I've been keeping a running tally of Peters' "bottom lines" this year, and they are:

  • New Zealand First won't work in a coalition with a "race-based party".
  • New Zealand First will block the sale of Lochinver Station ("we would not allow this deal"), demands a register of land sales to non-New Zealanders and further, "we will not go into any arrangement with any party that thinks they can go on doing this [foreign land sales]. That's it."
  • New Zealand First could not offer even confidence and supply to a party that didn't agree to a royal commission into the Dirty Politics allegations.
  • New Zealand First insists on a state asset buy-back programme that begins now, not in years to come. More specifically, he has a bottom line that the power companies part-sold last year must be bought back. "If either side prefers to sell out New Zealand's long-term heritage, then they can line up and find their own support".
  • New Zealand First wants a public KiwiSaver fund (It's calling it KiwiFund). Peters said it's "most definitely" a bottom line.
  • New Zealand First says generally immigration must come down, and specifically that new migrants must move into the regions for up to five years. That's also a bottom line, Peters has said.

These are the bottom lines Peters has laid out this year. The out clause? "The cross benches". But what exactly that means to New Zealand First remain unknown. 

Comments (6)

by Kat on September 10, 2014

Vote Positive, Love New Zealand, It's Common Sense.

Thats it Tim.

by Julian Ang on September 10, 2014
Julian Ang

If and it's a big "If" Winnie-the-pooh sticks to most of his bottom lines, it would appear that going into coalition with the right faction would be unlikely, especially the 2nd to 4th points. My bet is Winny will do the cross benches unless the three's a company scenario (Labour/Greens/NZ First) comes to fruition. If the polls are to be believed, the right will win 2014 but it will be a hell of a ride for the incumbents for the next three years as the reek of corruption will start seeping into the public consciousness and the press (hopefully!) & the economy starts stagnating.

by Kyle Matthews on September 11, 2014
Kyle Matthews

Always difficult to tell what bottom lines mean for Winston, but for him to be part of a National-led coalition, #4 is a real dealbreaker. You could see wriggle room in 2 and 3 - modifications to the rules around foreign ownership etc, but 4 is undoing a pretty key National Party policy for the last three years. Can't see that being agreed to, so he'd have to drop that one.

by Katharine Moody on September 11, 2014
Katharine Moody

I suspect he and his party will receive the most kudos for cleansing the National Party of its Dirty Politics as pointed out by Fran O'Sullivan today;


So a win on bullet three holds potentially the best legacy for Winston Peters and the best succession plan (for Ron Mark?) that NZ First could ever have wished for.


by tussock on September 12, 2014

That kinda does National in. They can't face a real dirty politics investigation because it would taint almost all their front bench and future leaders. Where would the cigarette boys go? They can't buy back the assets and leave in all their tax cuts for the rich. They hate kiwisaver, and will not want to grow it in any way. They're not in without NZF, and neither is anyone else.

We might actually get to keep pharmac and ACC, woo hoo!


Be interesting if the Maori party hold the balance, especially if the Conservatives (dedicated to erasing Te Tiriti and the Māori seats) get in. By "interesting" I mean another election in a couple months, at the regular time of year, unless a whole lot of people hold their nose and abstain on C&S.

by Matthew Percival on September 13, 2014
Matthew Percival

I wouldn't put it past Winston to deny saying any or all of the above and coming up with a totally new set of criteria which itself may change at the drop of a hat.

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