COMMENT:

For lip readers Winston Peters would present a significant challenge.

Our feisty Foreign Minister says a lot through a fairly tight slit that emits the sound.

The only time they express emotion is when the lined face folds into the creases and a cackle emerges which usually reflects what he sees as the absurdity of what he's hearing.

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When he splutters "with all due respect" you know you're in trouble, nothing could be further from the truth.

Peters has done quite a lot of that this week in Nauru when talking about our refugee intake and Labour's plans to increase it from a thousand to 1500, as they promised during the last election campaign.

Clearly playing to his constituents back home, Peters said there are other more pressing things for the Government to be concentrating on, like parts of Northland where people are living in squalor.

He said they have to fix up their lives before taking on new obligations - few of his followers would argue with that.

Ardern, finally joining Peters in Australia's refugee outpost, is now left with no choice but to say the refugee quota won't be increased until it gets the tick off from the coalition Cabinet.

Peters is as popular in the Pacific as his sidekick Shane Jones is in the provinces, they've both got stacks of our cash to put into their pet projects.

One of Jones' latest projects is trying to persuade the Reserve Bank to attach a provincial proviso to the licences of the four big foreign-owned trading banks here.

He reckons they make enough profit to have a social conscience when it comes to the country folk and keep their unprofitable branches open.

Jones was good to his word, meeting with the new Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr, and dragging along Labour's financial heavyweights Grant Robertson and David Parker for a bit of support.

Orr must be thanking his lucky stars he's independent of politics while Robertson and Parker were forced to put their worst foot forward.

Of course it's not going to happen, banks are in the business of making money, not to grease the provincial palms.

Jones says the banks are now wanting a meeting with him and he correctly admitted, they probably want to tell him to shut up.

Labour's promised a lot, but when push comes to shove, they're normally the ones being shoved and there are plenty of examples.

The Three Strikes law that Andrew Little was determined to get rid of until the pushy Peters canned his plan.

And then to rub salt into his wound, they had Little promoting the waka jumping bill through gritted teeth, making party leaders like Peters all powerful, and reducing the seething, supportive Greens to simpering sycophants who by their own admission were forced to swallow dead rats to keep the Government at the Cabinet table.

So in the Beehive these days it's New Zealand First among unequals.