Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

Labour a party of 'gays, lesbians, loony left' - NZ First candidate

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters during the party's campaign launch at the Kelston Community Hall in west Auckland on August 10. Photo / Dean Purcell
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters during the party's campaign launch at the Kelston Community Hall in west Auckland on August 10. Photo / Dean Purcell

New Zealand First have dismissed National's first-home buyer policy - but have also taken a swing at Labour for being a party for "gays, lesbians and the loony intelligent left".

Winston Peters, speaking at a party event at Epsom's Alexandra Park this afternoon, said the Government's housing policy - also announced today - would have no impact.

"If that's their announcement, then they haven't got a policy...if you were describing it as a swimsuit it would be a bikini - it's that flimsy.

"They worsen demand with open-door immigration and massive off-shore buying of houses in Auckland in particular."

Mr Peters told the crowd that he knew one Beijing-based property investor who owned 55 houses in Auckland.

"Don't blame the Chinese. They are renowned for not being stupid. They are renowned for being bright academically.

They are renowned for long-term planning.

"Don't blame them, when they see a bunch of fools running the country, saying, 'Come over here, you can make a fortune'."

NZ First would hold the balance of power after the election, Mr Peters said.

When one man asked him to not support National, Mr Peters said any decisions would be made after the votes were counted and "we know what the cards are".

"It's not going to be an easy decision, Sir, because if you look at what's been promised out there, you have to ask yourself, how on earth can you possibly pay for all that."

Before the speech a NZ First candidate went further. The party's Epsom candidate Cliff Lyon said National were a party of bankers, "with a capital B". He also criticised Labour for having lost touch with their working class roots.

"If you have a look at their supporters they are really gays, lesbians, the unemployed who they throw heaps of money at, and what I might call the loony intelligent left who sit up in Auckland University."

Earlier, Mr Peters said his party wanted a full inquiry into the allegations contained in Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics.

He repeated his earlier hint that former SIS Director Warren Tucker - who has backed Prime Minister John Key's version of events on an OIA briefing - was unreliable.

"As I said on [TVNZ show] Q+A this morning, 'Mr Tucker, I know you, because we had a run-in ourselves when I was Deputy Prime Minister.

"And you are not going to get away with that now'...if anybody understands how important words or language is, it's someone in security."

Mr Peters would not elaborate when asked by the Herald for further details of the "run-in".

- NZ Herald

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