Winston Peters' press conference this afternoon was unusual before he even arrived.

His party announced that it would be held in the Beehive theatrette, a spot reserved for Prime Ministerial press conferences, major announcements and foreign dignitaries.

The New Zealand First leader and kingmaker explained that his own party offices were being rejigged and that reporters should not read into the special location.

And from there the press conference - which was called to update media on negotiations to form a government - went from weird to ridiculous.


It started with a five-minute attack on the media, whom he claimed had been absent during his election campaign. Before a question was asked, reporters were called malicious, malignant, full of tripe, vicious in the extreme, and told they should be ashamed of themselves.

Special attention went to Newshub's Patrick Gower for his reports earlier this week that Peters "hated" and "despised" National's campaign chair Steven Joyce.

Peters said he discussed that with Joyce when they shared a plane to Wellington this morning: "He was as understanding about the character of the person who wrote that as I am."

A combative Winson Peters fired off at the media at his press conference today.

Over 25 minutes, there was one useful piece of information. Peters said National didn't have the "moral authority" to form a Government just because it got the biggest share of the vote.

"We're not back to First Past the Post here. We're on to MMP."

Then it was back to the insults and stone-walling.

One reporter attempted a mundane question about what policies Peters would prioritise in his negotiations.

"Where are you from?" Peters asked.


"Australia," the reporter said.

"It shows," Peters replied.

There were some personal shots too. Questions from a TVNZ reporter were twice dismissed on the grounds that she used to work for a now-defunct tabloid newspaper.

"This is not News of the World. Step it up here."

Another reporter who asked a question about the Act Party was told they were "carrying a flag" for the party.

As the press conference wound up, a press gallery reporter noted that it was at least clear who NZ First wouldn't be forming a coalition with - the media.

Peters promised he wouldn't hold another press conference until the special votes were counted in nine days.

Reporters are unlikely to be complaining.