Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


The truth about Winston Peters and MMP

The truth about Winston Peters and MMP

Opponents of MMP often cite Winston Peters as the poster boy for MMP, an example of the type of politician that exercises undue power under MMP.

The reality is a far different story, according to Campaign for MMP spokesperson Dr Sandra Grey.

"Mr Peters came to prominence and power under First Past the Post. He was elected a National Party MP for the Hunua electorate. Ironically, voters voted him out in 1981 only to see him re-emerge in a safe National seat, Tauranga, three years later."

Mr Peters was a Minister of Maori Affairs under First Past the Post, and one of the country's most popular and powerful politicians. He led a faction within the National Party that had all the semblance of a minor party except that it had never been on a ballot paper where people could choose whether they liked it or not.

The history of Winston Peters under MMP is a very different one. Each election his party has campaigned on a clear set of values and policies that some people have supported and others have opposed. The party has received a commensurate level of support.

When it has acted in a way the electorate did not like voters punished it. In 1999 voters cut NZ First representation from 17 seats to just five. Then again, in 2005, its seats were cut from 13 to seven, and then down to zero in 2008.

"Many voters do not like Winston Peters and some do. Before MMP all National Party voters got Winston Peters as one of their MPs, whether they wanted him or not," says Dr Grey. "Since then Mr Peters' party only had the amount of support and power than he and his party earned with their own policies. That included being voted completely out of Parliament under MMP."


Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Newshub/Smokefree Twin Fiascos

Here’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on the public health system.

Which industry is this government rushing to assist..?


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More

Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.