Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre Woodham: Key drops ball, we get Winston Peters

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Leader of New Zealand First Winston Peters. Photo / Getty Images
Leader of New Zealand First Winston Peters. Photo / Getty Images

Before I begin this rant, I want to say that I live in a house where none of us thinks the same politically.

Indeed, I have swung madly over the past three elections and I don't think I have a political axe to grind.

I'm not tribal. I'll go with the party I think will do right by the country. So this is my opinion and my opinion only.

I don't think I know best and I'm not always right and that stands for every column I write. But I need to vent my spleen.

If ever there was a case for New Zealand doing a Fiji and having a benign dictatorship, it's the resurrection of New Zealand First.

I would have thought Winston Peters and Andrew Williams would be two very good reasons not to vote New Zealand First - but then that is both the blessing and the curse of democracy, everybody's vote counts for the same.

And because of John Key's political ineptitude, Winston has opened the coffin lid, torn out the crucifix and been given a new lease on life.

The cup of tea with John Banks has been a disaster for National, from beginning to election night end and Key has only himself to blame.

To be fair to Winston, he's achieved a lot for someone outside the tent. The superannuitants' gold card; the free doctors' visits for under 6s; KiwiSaver; all of these were policies New Zealand First championed.

Well, Winston championed. New Zealand First is Winston. He is much better at being a maverick than he is at being a member of the establishment. And perhaps that's his charm. We all love a rank outsider. We all love someone the media loves to hate. We all love sticking it to "The Man".

And so we get the government we deserve. National will still form the government. But it won't be as easy as they thought it would be - and nor should it be.

John Key deserves a thorough spanking for dropping the ball on the try line. Thanks to Key, we now have Winston Peters and his merry band of men in Parliament - and have you seen the line-up? A former television weather man and North Shore's former mayor, a man who peed in public and sent late-night rants to John Key.

To think people are dying in the streets of Egypt to have a democratic government. Ah well. At least I can live under the same roof as someone who is diametrically opposed politically. In other countries, that would have me shot.

So whatever the result of the election - and as I write this the exact number is not clear - I'm glad I live in a country where I can say what I want to say and not worry about whether speaking my mind will cost me my life.

- Herald on Sunday

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