Northland’s new MP predicts other regions will pick up seat’s discontent and also punish Govt.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has confirmed he will resign as a list MP, which will allow his party member to gain a new MP.

Mr Peters told Radio New Zealand this morning: "Of course I'll resign, I don't know why it was ever a material question."

New Zealand First currently has 11 MPs in Parliament.

Under electoral rules, Mr Peters' resignation as a list MP means New Zealand First's 12th -ranked list MP to enter Parliament.


Parliamentary staffer Ria Bond, from Invercargill, is next on the party's list but it not known whether she will become an MP.

Mr Peters said yesterday that he might refuse to resign because of New Zealand First's policy of a smaller Parliament.

If Mr Peters decided not resign from the list and Parliament was reduced to 120 MPs, it would not have made a material difference to National's majority.

National would still have needed both Act and United Future to pass legislation, or the support of the Maori Party.

Meanwhile, Winston Peters started his first day as Northland MP in a grump. His inner circle's aftermatch was at the Eagles' Nest and featured the Nairobi Trio and his mates Shane Jones and Dover Samuels. Celebrating is exhausting, so when he arrived for a swathe of media interviews, he immediately had a tantrum at TVNZ.

But the campaign was over, he had won and now there were dues to be paid and promises to deliver on.


On the dues front, Mr Peters' win was helped by Labour voters. He denied that meant he now owed Labour a favour. Instead, he said Labour's support was simply payback for his endorsement of Labour's Te Tai Tokerau candidate, Kelvin Davis, in last year's election. Mr Davis managed to win the seat from incumbent Hone Harawira. Mr Peters had endorsed Mr Davis because "Hone made a disastrous decision by going with Kim Dotcom".


"I didn't have to do it. It's the only time I've ever done it. We don't owe anybody a favour at all."

On the promises side, there were rail links and port upgrades - and his vow to move up to his Whananaki property from St Marys Bay.

Asked how he would deliver, Mr Peters said the Government could not afford to ignore the result and would be "on the road to oblivion" if it didn't listen to the message Northland sent. He predicted other regions would pick up the discontent in Northland and punish National in the same way.

He spoke about boosting the three Fs of regional industry - farming, forestry and fisheries.

National's Mark Osborne said he would be watching closely to ensure Mr Peters met his own hype over the next 2 years, and might have another go at taking him on then.

Mr Peters said he would have another go in 2017 - but sent a signal to Mr Osborne to give up.

"When people send you a message that they don't want you, you don't go to the same bus stop. They told me they did [want me] so I'll be back at the bus stop."

Even some of those who voted for Mr Peters were sceptical about him.

Lee and Jeff Thoresen live near Mr Peters in Whananaki South so voted for him.

Lee voted Labour last year and said it had annoyed her that Labour had forsaken their own candidate for Mr Peters' sake. She doubted Mr Peters would live up to his promises. "Nothing gets done up here."

In Russell's tattoo parlour, Bay of Islands Ink, owner Pete Regeling, 42, said he voted for Mr Peters "because I can't stand National. Who wants bridges?" He usually voted for the Maori Party, and said he did not trust Mr Peters at all.

His friend Maxwell, a truck driver, voted for Mark Osborne. "I can't stand Winston Peters."

Al, another local resident, said he hadn't voted but would have voted for Mr Peters if he had, even though he didn't think the NZ First leader would achieve anything. "I've always liked Winston. He tells it how it is. I've been here 40 years and I've never seen anything change."

But first for Mr Peters, there was housekeeping to do after a month on the "Force for the North" bus.

Mr Peters was last seen licking an icecream before heading out of town with his partner, Jan Trotman. Asked when the moving trucks were arriving to relocate them to his Whananaki house, he said he already had everything he needed there. He already spent a lot of time there - his win would mean he spent a bit more.

Eventually he will have to decide whether to resign his list spot and get an extra MP or refuse to resign to stick to NZ First's policy of a smaller Parliament. But top of his to-do list when he returns to Parliament after a month away is probably to rub Prime Minister John Key's nose in his victory.

10 Reasons Winston Peters won Northland

1 He's Winston Peters

Peters can be an irresistible force. You don't put an unknown chartered accountant up against him. Ever.

2 Auckland envy
Peters' "send a message" and "decades of neglect" lines plumbed discontent and the notion Auckland benefits at Northland's expense.

3 Mike Sabin
Voters felt duped into voting for Sabin last year, angry at the refusal to front up on his resignation.

4 Overkill
National sent up lots of ministers and put Steven Joyce in charge. Aimed at showing they cared, it crowded Osborne out.

5 Keep it local
National's campaign ranged from free trade with Korea to RMA reforms, seen as a fix for Auckland's housing problem, not local issues.

6 Pork-barrel politics
When National kept it local, it treated voters like fools. The Ten Bridges policy was far too blatant.

7 Labour voters
Labour derided tactical voting on the right, but is rejoicing over its candidate's abysmal result.

8 Risk averse
Fearful of a slip-up by Osborne, National over-managed him and he never really connected with voters.

9 Timing
Its lengthy selection process put National on the back foot; there was little time to build Osborne's profile.

10 The polls
Polls showing Peters well ahead in the final week were the death knell. National voters thought it was all over and went shopping.
- with additional reporting by Isaac Davison