Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Winston Peters issues $100k challenge to John Key over fishing

Mr Peters is a keen boatie. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Mr Peters is a keen boatie. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Winston Peters has offered to pay $100,000 to the Prime Minister's favourite charity if John Key can find evidence that the New Zealand First leader has been fishing in his Northland electorate.

The challenge was issued after Mr Key ribbed Mr Peters in Parliament over the amount of time the Northland MP spent in his electorate, describing him as the "member of fishing".

Mr Peters was questioning Mr Key about the Northland Economic Development report and the PM responded: "I dare say that Minister [Steven] Joyce now knows more about Northland than the member does. In actually having been there once this year, he has probably been there more than the member has."

Mr Peters, a keen boatie, responded that he had spent more time in Northland in the past nine months than Mr Key had spent in Helensville [the PM's electorate] in his parliamentary career. Mr Key replied: "Not if you count time in your electorate being on a boat, fishing."

The NZ First leader laughed at the time, but later issued his challenge, saying he would pay $100,000 to a charity of Mr Key's choosing if he could find a witness who had seen Mr Peters fishing since the Northland byelection. He said Mr Key should pay $100,000 to a Northland charity if he could not front up with the proof of his claims.

But as always with Mr Peters, some conditions apply: the witness must have seen Mr Peters on the MP's own boat.

Mr Peters said Mr Key had told a "barefaced lie" about him (Mr Peters) and his fishing "and he's not going to get away with it".

"I have not been fishing for one day with anybody or anywhere since the Northland byelection [on March 28]. That's a fact."

He said his reference to fishing in his own boat was because Mr Key had used those words.

Before the last election, the Herald's Steve Deane went fishing with Mr Peters, and his article reported that the MP's own boats were at his Whananaki base and included a "1940s kauri clinker moored in Whananaki and a catamaran with a couple of 225hp outboards that he acquired because his kids complained the clinker was too slow".

- NZ Herald

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