Peters’ legal action does not discredit talks
‘‘COALITION talks discredited’’ howls the editorial (ODT, 13.11.17), responding to the news that Winston Peters is taking legal action against individuals he suspects of participating in the leaking of his personal details during the campaign.
First, negotiations between Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens were conducted in good faith, reached a conclusion satisfactory to all and a government that represents more than 50% of the votes was formed. That process has not been discredited.
Second, Mr Peters and his party had no obligation to even consider forming a government with National.They could have just negotiated with one side, and that would have been perfectly honourable. That is, after all, what the Greens did.
Third, there is no evidence negotiations with National were conducted in anything but good faith. While it is true that Mr Peters had reason to mistrust and dislike significant members of the National Party team, it is also true that the pugnacious Mr Peters had a history of disliking and mistrusting some on the other side.When forming coalitions old resentments can be put aside.
Fourth, the fact that the papers were drawn up before the coalition discussions began but not served until last week leaves open the option that, had a NationalNew Zealand First coalition emerged from the negotiating process, these papers would not have been served. The ODT
has no way of judging this, and yet chooses to believe that the process was a sham. This despite reports about the close comparison of the two competing deals, the weighing up of policy matches and the involvement of the New Zealand First Board and caucus in the final decision.
Finally, the ODT’s assertion that ‘‘the only reason Ms Ardern is now prime minister is because of the need by Mr Peters to get revenge on National’’ ignores the most important reason we now have the government we do, which is that 50.4% of voters gave their party votes to Labour, New Zealand First or the Greens.