National MP Judith Collins didn't mince words on Monday's show when she referred to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters as "all piss and wind" when it came to supporting farmers over agriculture being introduced to the ETS. Today on The Country, host Jamie Mackay gives Peters the chance to respond to Collins' comment and defend New Zealand First's support for the nation's agriculture sector.
Mackay also asks Peters to explain his own comments over Opposition Leader Simon Bridges' pronunciation given the Greens' "attack ad" ruckus.
Mackay: Judith Collins who was on this show on Monday and said, to quote her, you were all piss and wind when it came to going in to bat for the farmers over introducing agriculture to the ETS. What do you say in your defence Mr Peters?
Peters: What I'll say to [Collins] ... is, Judith, you and your colleagues went off to Paris and signed an agreement, and you had no idea whatsoever how you were going to keep that agreement that you signed.
So you made all the statements in the world - if you want to talk about all puff and no substance, that sort of behaviour - what we've done is put flesh to the Paris Agreement.
We've made sure that farmers are part of it. We've made sure that farmers get compensated for being part of it and we made sure that farmers are on the Emissions Trading Scheme trading arrangements if they put some of their land - just some of it - into either exotic or indigenous forest.
Now - that is a whole lot better way forward than the farmers ever had before and there's no use you, who don't know one end of a cow from the other, really going to bag a party called New Zealand First, who had a number of people who came off the dairy farm in the first place and understand farming better than they ever will.
Mackay: Here's a question from a listener. Why has Mr Peters let Julie Anne Genter shaft farmers and others with the EV levy? This is in reference obviously to the $3000, maybe $6000, levy that will go on the likes of some farm utes, or tradies' utes.
Well, first of all, there's 400,000 utes out there on the New Zealand market that won't be affected at all. So it doesn't apply to them.
Jacinda Ardern on farmers, climate change and GM
Winston Peters on electric vehicles v 'gas guzzlers'
Why Judith Collins says Govt has thrown NZ farmers under a bus
That's where the farming community has a range of utes and road utilities which won't be affected by this tax at all.
And I haven't allowed anybody to shaft the farmers. And with the greatest respect I say to that farmer, well you tell me - because you sound like a National supporter - what do you think Judith Collins and Simon Bridges and, dare I say it, Paula Bennett who was sent to Paris, what do you think they signed you up for?
And before you make your reactionary, mindless statement - tell me ... how it's going to affect the farming committee - and if they didn't tell you, then more fool you because they own you an explanation.
Listen to the full interview below:
And the difference [is that] New Zealand First has gone out there, we've stopped the Capital Gains Tax, we've ensured that you've got the best possible arrangement that you'll ever have with respect to climate change ... now all the leading farming groups in this country have come out backing our resolutions.
And if they're backing this resolution by backing our policies, why don't you put aside your political bias and back us as well?
Mackay: Let me finish on the MP for Tauranga, the current one that is - Simon Bridges. We saw the Green Party ad, attack politics, you're not innocent here either because you've been taking the mickey out of the National Party Leader talking about "Choina".
Peters: The fact of the matter is, that he asked me about it in Parliament, about "moining" and about this country called "Choina" and I said, "well I don't know what this country called 'Choina' is!"
I know it's China but I know, I know, it's "Choina" - but I didn't go and get a whole lot of money and put thousands of dollars into an attack ad on TV.
The Greens did that and they can take all the responsibility all by themselves.
Also in today's interview: Peters comments on newly elected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and gives an update on his recent trip to Washington where he met Vice President Mike Pence.