It could be Maud from Mataura or Doug from Dargaville who'll be deciding who's going to govern us for the next three years.

Who knows and does it really matter?

We're not being told who's on the New Zealand First board who we're told will make the decision which on the face of it is highly unusual, especially for a party that's prided itself on transparency that it says will apply to Government which it will most certainly be a part of in the coming days.

No other party has a problem with publicising who's on their board but then under our electoral system they're unlikely to singularly be in a position to decide on the next Government.

That's the preserve of the party led by Winston Peters, a party that is in fact Winston Peters.

It's the party that our electoral system has put in that unenviable position.

Peters is well aware that in terms of the electoral vote he's very much in the minority but then so too was The Maori Party, United Future and Act, who when it came to the vote were minnows by comparison and yet had the baubles of office as they propped up the National Government over the past nine years.

Peters argues his board has the right to privacy, they're not public figures, they're just people who want to make a contribution to the decision-making process.


Well they most certainly are doing that.

Given whatever decision they make is going to be highly controversial, perhaps they could be forgiven for wanting to keep their heads below the parapet.

But in reality when push comes to shove the decision will be made by Winston from Whananaki.

It's now just a question of when and surely a question of just how difficult it is to get a dozen or so people together in Wellington to cogitate on Winston's reasoning.

Peters has made a couple of errors, the first was his cast iron guarantee that a decision would be announced on writ day, which was yesterday.

He can say all he likes about it being a media invention that he gave that commitment but surely he can't argue with his own words: "I make this guarantee that whatever decision New Zealand First arrives at post-election, it will be made public by the day the writs are returned, which is within three weeks from polling day."

The second error was putting a timeframe on it in the first place.

It's like going into a negotiation, determining how long the piece of string is, and taking away the real ability to negotiate.

Negotiations take as long as they take, and that most certainly should be the case when the future of the country's at stake.