Wave: A dark and glowering Winston Peters hurling
rhetorical thunderbolts at all and sundry will find himself very
poorly placed to participate positively in creative change. But, a
wise and benevolent Winston Peters, determined to render every
possible assistance to New Zealands youngest prime minister in more
than a century, will leave behind a political legacy of no small
IMAGINE HOW GALLING
Jacinda Arderns Auckland Town Hall love-fest must have been for
Winston Peters. Just one tumultuous month ago, that sort of
spectacle had been his for the making. NZ First was on a roll:
effortlessly rising on the swell of an electoral wave that had the
pundits making serious predictions about Peters becoming New
Zealands next prime minister. Not anymore.
It is only fair to note at this point
that the NZ First surge was no figment of the pundits imagination.
A month ago, Peters understanding of the political mood seemed
altogether more profound than any of his rivals. His appeal to what
he perceived to be a simmering anger, roiling just below the
surface of New Zealand politics, was borne out by his partys steady
rise in the polls.
Political historians looked at those
numbers and, recalling Peters ability to nearly double his partys
level of support over the course of the formal election campaign
period, began speculating that the final NZ First vote might
actually equal (or even outstrip!) that of the ailing, Andrew
Little-led Labour Party. In those circumstances, the precariously
placed, Party List-only candidate, Little, could, conceivably, have
lost his seat in the House of Representatives, putting the post of
prime minister well-and-truly in play.
The rise and rise of NZ First proved
equally unsettling for the Greens. The...