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Simon Bridges over Jamie Mackay's 'love' for Winston Peters

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 4:15PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Simon Bridges over Jamie Mackay's 'love' for Winston Peters

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 4:15PM

National Party leader Simon Bridges says he has no regrets about his decision to rule out a coalition deal with Winston Peters.

In fact, he wants certain media commentators to end their love affair with the Deputy Prime Minister - including The Country's host Jamie Mackay.

On today's show, (with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek), Bridges took issue with Mackay's supposed enthusiasm for New Zealand First's leader.

"You've been sticking up for and excited about Winston for far too long actually Jamie. That's what I find sometimes with commentators with too much grey hair."

He also dismissed Mackay's suggestion that New Zealand First would get past the five per cent threshold to create the next coalition government.

"No they won't. You're entirely wrong.

"It's this simple right? Winston Peters went out there and promised you, your grandmother and everyone else 50 things. He hasn't delivered a single one of them."

Mackay took umbrage with the "grey hair" reference and accused the Opposition leader of being "ageist".

An undeterred Bridges did not back down - he actually decided to double down.

"I just think you're apologetic every single week ... you'd think he was the pope the way you talk about him".

Overall, Bridges said he found the exchange with Mackay cathartic and perhaps a new way forward for further discussions in 2020.

"I've had a good go at you today. It feels quite good. I might have to continue the way I've started this year.

He then suggested Mackay's interest in Peters may come from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's supposed reluctance to talk to The Country host.

"Maybe that's why you love each other so much ... you and Winnie."

The Country host had the last word though and insisted his interest in Peters was for the good of Kiwi farmers, not his own gratification.

"All I want Simon Bridges is for the next Government not to be a Labour/Greens coalition and I'm saying that simply on behalf of the farmers of this country."

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