On The Nation: Patrick Gower interviews Winston Peters

Press Release – The Nation

Patrick Gower: Well, believe it or not, Winston is in. On Friday, the New Zealand First leader announced he is standing in the Northland by-election. I spoke to him just before we came on air and yet again tried to figure out what exactly he is up …On The Nation: Patrick Gower interviews Winston Peters

Patrick Gower: Well, believe it or not, Winston is in. On Friday, the New Zealand First leader announced he is standing in the Northland by-election. I spoke to him just before we came on air and yet again tried to figure out what exactly he is up to. Winston Peters, good to see you, and congratulations on making yourself relevant again.

Winston Peters: That’s a good start, Paddy, but not quite right.

Yeah, but what are you up to here? Seriously, what are you up to here? Because it’s a stunt, isn’t it?

You’ve got to be joking. You mean to say that we’d go to all this effort, all this cost and all this sacrifice for a stunt? You don’t understand me and you don’t understand politics if you say that.

Well, what I’m saying to you is you’ve got very little chance of winning here. You’ve been in politics 40 years; you are prepared to go out—

Actually, I haven’t been in politics for 40 years.

You’re prepared to go out a loser in a by-election to get a bit of attention.

Well, there’ll be a lot of people like you – cynical, write us off, take the view of people like Steven Joyce, make all those smart-arse comments – but it won’t work in this campaign.

Yeah, but, to use your own word, you’ve been a smart-arse with all sorts of by-elections and all sorts of electorates and all sorts of speculation, and I have to say I was really, really surprised that for once you put your money where your mouth is.

No, really, I did that before once and walked out of Parliament on a matter of principle, put it all on the line and got the biggest majority in this country’s history, so don’t write this off, please.

Well, tell the people of Northland, because if you win this seat, Ria Bond comes in on the list, doesn’t she?

No, no. We have not chosen the next candidate in the context. The rule is the next available candidate, so please don’t forecast what we haven’t worked out ourselves.

Are you going to go to the people of Kaitaia, up there, and say, ‘Your next representative is from down by Bluff’?

No, you know that that’s a lie. Please don’t go out and spread that sort of deception. That’s a deliberate National Party lie. The next representative for the North is Winston Peters.

And how are you going to win this?

With hard work, with a credible record, with experience, with a message which they have desperately wished for in Wellington. They want to be heard. They want their concerns taken seriously. They don’t want to be marginalised any more. Look at the economic and social condition of so many of those communities and tell me I’m wrong.

On the Resource Management Act, they’ve got the number to pass it at the moment. If you win, they won’t have that. Would you help it go through?

Rein that back. How could you have the numbers when a comprehensive decision on the Act has not been made? You get my point? You’re jumping ahead of yourself. If we saw a wise piece of legislation, we’d support it. If we see something that’s bad for our economy and above all our environment, we won’t.

Yes. So what does Northland actually need?

Well, Northland has needed, for a long, long time, the kind of regional development and sympathetic policies that a lot of provincial New Zealand needs. When you’ve got economists talking about a two-tier economy in so many of the provinces – the Wanganuis, the Gisbornes all falling by the wayside, and it shows in the empty shops and the lack of opportunity for their young people and the incomes. 51,000 is the median income. The national average is over 71. So right away now, you’re seeing communities being left out, and they’ve had enough, right up to here.

OK. Are you going to win this or not?

We believe we can if enough effort is made by enough people to help out. If they join the force for the North, yes we can.

Winston Peters, thank you very much.

Thank you.

Transcript provided by Able. www.able.co.nz

ENDS

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