Winston Peters plays politics like no one else in the business.

He understands how things work and where the pitfalls are.

He's determined to ensure that the electorate doesn't forget him at the next election like it did the last time he was in cahoots with Labour, although John Key didn't help his cause in the 2008 campaign by saying he wouldn't work with him - didn't have to make that decision because New Zealand First never made it back.


The old dog's been taught new tricks, self taught maybe, but as he flies off to Europe for the next couple of weeks he's again laid the ground work here.

Peters likes being in Government, what politician doesn't?

He loves being at the seat of power, even if many see him in reality sitting on it.

He won't be pushed around when it comes to asserting himself and his party as Andrew Little found out when he told us all he was scrapping the meaningless three strikes law and then was forced to make a public back down when Peters pulled the plug.

It should have come as no surprise, given the idea was his in the first place.

Now Peters is painting himself as the champion of the people, of their right to see their elected MP vote the way they intended him to.

Political pariah Jami-Lee Ross wanted National to use his newly independent proxy vote so as not to upset the proportionality of Parliament but they gave him the bird.

An approach to Peters has seen him flying with it, promising to cast it for National, not just to get up their nose which it most certainly will, but on behalf of the voters in Botany to honour their ballot box wish.


Even though Andrew Little was given the teeth gritting job of promoting the waka jumping legislation, which in reality he didn't want a bar of, Peters would like to force National, its most trenchant critic, into using it.

With Ross staying on in Parliament, he'll continue to niggle the Nats thanks to the politics of Peters who hopes he'll push them to breaking point.

And the wily old fox, standing in for Jacinda Ardern, became the attack dog in Parliament in the Karel Sroubek case, frustrating his arch enemy Paula Bennett who was dropping more bombs on the Czech drug smuggler in an effort to embarrass the Immigration Minister.

Peters pointed the finger squarely at immigration officials, saying a Minister's only as good as the information he gets, obviously knowing Sroubek's a goner.

And then we're told by National, he's planning an attack on the Government's flagship industrial relations policy.

Peters has already won a concession on the 90 day probationary period which now won't apply for businesses employing up to 20 workers, apparently he's upping that to 50, and we're told he's mounted an assault on other aspects of the bill, like collective bargaining which is hated by employers.

If he pulls it off he'll be their champion, which of course it always the object of his exercise.