Lead­ers ‘act­ing like chi­huahuas’

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JO MOIR

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.

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