Winston Peters: Lack of leadership is crippling New Zealand

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters (Ngāti Wai), has blasted the government for not trying to bring an end to the stalemate with protestors occupying the grounds at Parliament.

He also believes the government's mandate policies are falling apart, he told Te Ao Tapatahi today.

Peters said no matter what the cause was, it was important for politicians to front up to the protesters, say hello, and get their side of the story. “I couldn't believe after 15 days no one from Parliament had by agreement across to say hello to them and hear what they have to say.”

“They were grateful someone turned up,” he said he was told by the protestors.

“A lot of those people have lost their livelihoods, lost everything, lost their homes, lost their jobs and it’s a very critical situation for them and they want someone to know about it.”

Ihumātao talks

Peters pointed out that Ihumātao was an illegal protest on private property and yet the government was willing to send ministers to talk to the protestors. He also said the government sent three million dollars to the Taliban. “These are the same people that treat their women like animals because she {Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern] wants to keep a dialogue open. But what happens when it comes to her fellow New Zealanders? Won’t talk.”

Peters believes the government mandates and the structures supporting them are failing and the protesters have the right to express themselves and question the government implementation of the mandates.

He has taken issue with the advice over the use of masks especially that of the newly promoted N95 mask which he says will cost the average New Zealander a great deal. An ordinary mask, which is next to useless in many circumstances is good enough, and it’s not good enough.

“Can you recall everyone being encouraged to make their own masks? These were structures that were put together by so-called specialists and politicians and the reality was those masks were never good enough”

Winston says police aren’t a part of the problem and that because of the inaction of the politicians to communicate with the protesters they have exacerbated the protest whereas in the past the protesters would have been heard and gone home.

“Who is the master here? Those people out there like you and me and everyone else in the population, we’re the masters and the politicians are meant to be the servants. Something has gone really wrong with their idea of democracy.”

Peters thinks that the residents of Wellington are being treated like collateral damage due to a lack of leadership. “Let’s keep our eyes on what the problem is and what the prize is. They prize is to be heard out and for people to state their case.”

"We have a $17 billion industry called tourism utterly collapsing in front of the government's face and it says it cares and that we should be kind"