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Kate Hawkesby: Maybe Winston's experience will be a good thing

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Mon, 6 Nov 2023, 7:05am
Photo / NZ Herald
Photo / NZ Herald

Kate Hawkesby: Maybe Winston's experience will be a good thing

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Mon, 6 Nov 2023, 7:05am

So, we now know Winston’s in the mix in a real and tangible way. He’s needed.  

We can thank special votes for that.  

So, I’m trying to look for positives, and trust me, it’s not easy - but I found one.  

He at least has institutional knowledge of how parliament works, what being a politician means, and how the place functions.  

That’s a benefit to Luxon because that’s more than he’s got.  

Being a newbie, it’s all new to Luxon.  

So, you add one old dog and one newbie - and maybe there in the middle lies some kind of middle ground where they can connect.  

What wisdom about how the place works can Winston pass on to Luxon? How can Luxon learn from Winston’s years and years in this environment?  

No Winston’s not a shining light or a good example of a model politician by any stretch, but he’s at least got runs on the board.  

He knows the place. He knows the rules. He’s seen it all before.  

He knows the inner workings of government’s better than Luxon would. So that’s the potential plus.  

The other positive? We are not having a second general election.  

Remember that threat?  

During the campaign Chris Bishop didn’t rule out having to go to the polls again, remember?  

Well thank God we are not doing that.  

I think our appetite for another election is zero, we could barely summon up enough enthusiasm for this one, so if not working with Winston would have meant having to have another election then I guess we should be grateful they’re going to work with Winston.  

But look that’s about where the positives end for me.  

I don’t see this trifecta of parties being anything short of prickly and problematic.  

If it is - they’ll get tetchy, it will get messy, and eventually they will get turfed out as an unsuccessful one term government.  

Given that’s not what any of them want, given how much they’ve talked about strong stable government, given how much they all want to turn around New Zealand then I’d like to think they work hard at making it work.  

So far so good in terms of tight lipped.  

No one’s getting sucked into a demanding media vortex hungry for 24/7 information, they’re holding their tongues.  

Luxon for his part has managed to keep his caucus together, leak free, and on message, long may that continue.  

Seymour has not gone too rogue yet.  

Even Winston appears to be playing ball. Could we be seeing a new dawn? Could this finally be the adults taking charge and determined to act like grown-ups?  

Can they stay above the fray and get this country back to some kind of order and productivity?  

Time will tell but I think we have high hopes that after such a scarring six years of shambles, unproductivity and angst, that we can get some runs on the board finally.  

Our expectations are high.  

And re the timeframe, how much longer will we have to wait for it?  

Well personally I’d rather wait and have them sort it out properly and in a robust manner that can go the distance, than have them cobble together a rushed job which potentially implodes down the track.  

I mean nothing will necessarily be perfect, but I hope enough goodwill and good faith is at play, that it’s the best possible shot. 



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