Peters' leadership under threat as NZ First ponders the future

By David Fisher

Winston Peters could be forced to share his coveted role as New Zealand First leader, amid internal concerns over the party's failed election campaign.

The outspoken rumblings are the strongest in the party's 16-year history, with deputy leader Peter Brown describing Peters as a "liability".

The party is holding its first post-election conference next Saturday. On the agenda is Peters' leadership and discussion about how the party can make it back to Parliament.

While most are talking of finding a better relationship with the media, Peters renewed the aggressive stance displayed during the campaign.

Asked for comment on the party's future, he told the Herald on Sunday: "Go have a w**k somewhere else".

Peters' colleagues openly discuss the failures of the campaign, including criticism of the handling of the Owen Glenn donation saga.

Brown said Peters became "a bit of a liability" in his dealings with the media over the issue and said the party needed "some understanding and some controls on who does what and how we are going to proceed".

Party president George Groombridge said the party had established a subcommittee to discuss its media liaison.

Former MP Edwin Perry raised the possibility of high-profile former MP Ron Mark leading the party. Perry is Mark's electorate chairman.

- Herald on Sunday

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