Is Winston Peters back? - 'You better believe it,' he says

Sun, Feb 5

"He's got a Shipley bump and it won't last much longer than this," Winston Peters said of Prime Minister Chris Hipkins at Waitangi Treaty Grounds today.

Monday's 1News Kantar Public Poll, the first since Chris Hipkins became Prime Minister, showed a surge of support for Labour — the party gained 5% support on its last poll result, resulting in a one-point lead over National.

The preferred Prime Minister rating had Hipkins leading at 46% and National's Christopher Luxon at 43%.

New Zealand First was polled at 2% party support, not enough to meet the threshold of 5% for parliamentary seats.

Questioned by reporters on whether his New Zealand First party would be willing to work with Labour in coalition, Peters retorted "why would I be required to?"

"If they're not going to make it, and they're not, why would I be required to?" he repeated.

"They [Labour] cannot win. They've spent five years wasting people's time."

Peters said "we did some great things in coalition... a whole lot of projects all down the country."

"But from their portfolios, tell me which one was a success."

Asked whether he'd be the right person to guide National leader Christopher Luxon, a relative newcomer to politics, in Government, he replied "experience and certainty do matter."

The New Zealand First leader questioned why "we wasted so much time when the key areas that people need — particularly in the Māori world... are what they've neglected," bringing up shortcomings he saw in the Government's approach to housing, health, education and wages.

"It's no use changing your brand name" — referring to the Prime Minister's purported focus on "bread and butter" issues — "no matter how much the media thinks you're successful, when you've failed in those basic, fundamental things."

Is Winston Peters back?

"You better believe it," he replied.