COMMENT:

NZ First leader Winston Peters has scored himself as Acting Prime Minister and declared everything is awesome.

In his last post-Cabinet press conference in the top job, Peters announced his time at the top would end at midnight on Wednesday whereupon he would turn back into the humble Foreign Minister and his pumpkin would bear him overseas for international summits.

He announced that he had done very well in the job, that the coalition government had reached new heights of strength and stability.

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He also had some fun in his final time on the podium.

He let rip at former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and National Party President Peter Goodfellow who had been uncomplimentary about his decision to side with Labour over National after the election.

It got his gander up to the point where he appeared to equate Howard's words of sympathy to the National Party faithful with Russian interference in the US election.

Goodfellow was treated to a veiled threat of unknown variety should he repeat a description of Peters as a "whisky-swilling, cigarette-smoking, double-breasted and irrational bullet".

It was enough to push Peters to speak of himself in the third person – something he has previously described as the sign of a narcissist.

"What is not going to happen here is someone like him thinks he can have a free hit at Winston Peters," he said.

Howard's sin had been to make his statement without being able to "particularise with any exactitude" what he meant.

Exactitude was also occasionally missing from his own press conference.

He set out a plan to address the issue of deaths from synthetic cannabis. Asked how long he expected it to be before officials reported back on the synthetic cannabis problem, he said "I can't answer with any exactitude on that."

Asked about the East Asia Summit and ASEAN summits, he said there were five "special guests" at the ASEAN meeting. He rattled through four and then said the fifth had "temporarily passed my mind."

Five seconds later it slipped back in: "oh - Iran."

No biggie then.

There was less exactitude when he was asked about the NZ First succession plan. "I've never thought about it."

Peters sought refuge from all this inexactitude in a rather surprising place: the polls.

Despite a long history of scorning polls as a pile of tripe, Peters had kicked off his final presser by boasting that in his time in power (all six weeks of it), the governing parties had increased their support in a poll.

When asked for the details of this poll, he declined to provide numbers or even say what poll it was, saying only it was "encouraging" and "more accurate" than everybody else's polls.

That presumably means NZ First was over the five per cent mark, somewhere it has not ventured for some time in other polls.