Leaders ‘acting like chihuahuas’
First on the agenda at a finance debate in Queenstown last week was the ‘‘elephant in the room’’ - whether the National Party was responsible for leaking Winston Peters’ superannuation overpayment.
The debate hosted by the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce and ASB was fronted by Peters, National’s Steven Joyce, Labour’s Grant Robertson, Greens leader James Shaw and ACT leader David Seymour - but the economy got parked for the first five minutes.
Joyce was asked to say categorically whether anyone from the National Party was responsible for the leak, which he denied, though he also took the opportunity to point out sarcastically that he was glad to be ‘‘discussing the real issues’’.
Robertson, Shaw and Seymour agreed they weren’t at a finance debate to discuss Peters and Seymour added to that saying, ‘‘Winston mate, just give them the files...then we can all move on.’’
Then it was Peters’ time to shine and he told the audience that at the National Party campaign launch last weekend there was talk that they were going to ‘‘do Winston Peters in’’.
He accused the Government of breaking ‘‘every rule’’ of the ‘‘no surprises policy’’ and when a woman in the audience laughed Peters warned her, ‘‘one day they might come for you’’.
Earlier in the night Robertson had congratulated ASB for managing to get the five of them in the same room.
It only took the mention of immigration for Seymour and Peters to find a reason to start scrapping it out.
The organisers had managed to keep them at opposite ends of the podium, which meant Joyce who was plonked in the middle ended up playing a mediator role, saying, ‘‘come on boys you’re acting like a couple of chihuahuas’’.
Seymour came with his oneliners well and truly prepared and got one of the bigger laughs of the night when he told Peters he had ‘‘more bottom lines than a hundred-year-old elephant’’.
Peters threw back that he’d be out of politics soon, he’d already warned him that this was his ‘‘valedictory speech’’.
Peters decided he’d bring the superannuation scandal back up but the audience wasn’t having a bar of that and booed him until he stopped.
Wakatipu New World has officially adopted Izzy the cat.