Barry Soper: Facing the music - Winston Peters and the NZ First Foundation

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 19 Feb 2020, 3:45PM
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

Barry Soper: Facing the music - Winston Peters and the NZ First Foundation

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 19 Feb 2020, 3:45PM

COMMENT:

If there's one thing Winston Peters loves, it's music - which is probably why his old crooner mate John Rowles got a knighthood in this Government's first honours list.

The New Zealand First leader once had Rowles thunder on to the stage at a party conference before he dismounted and burst into song.

But perhaps he chose the wrong pop group when he used his mobile phone to play Queen, telling journalists to listen up to Radio Gaga before walking off, sniggering, to his Beehive office.

One can only hope he didn't listen to the rest of his Queen Spotify list. Another hit - Another One Bites the Dust - is surely right up there.

Even though he makes light of it, Peters is obviously feeling what another Queen hit tells us all about being Under Pressure, given he resorted to Facebook again to castigate those who he believes are out to destroy his party.

It's as though the Queen hit list should be a theme for this Government at the moment.

Think about Jacinda Ardern's insistence that she only talks to Peters about coronavirus and the economy. We're expected to believe she hasn't at any stage mentioned to him the Serious Fraud Office investigation into the New Zealand First Foundation.

An incredulous Simon Bridges got the answer he refused to believe last week that Ardern trusts Peters. And not only that she told Parliament she has faith in him but believes he's behaving in way that a Deputy Prime Minister should behave.

As far as the SFO investigation goes, she says let them do their job. If their job finds wrongdoing she dismisses that as hypothetical and says judgements will be made after that.

Who could forgive Ardern for heading home last night and listening to Queen's I Want To Ride My Bicycle, followed immediately by I Want to Break Free?

Taking the We Are The Champions moral high ground in all of this is National, which of course they shouldn't be. It was under the current leader's watch that the Chinese donation rolled in that's the subject of an Auckland court case next week, even though neither they nor the party will be in the dock.

Bridges said the party would be paying back the $100,000 donation that now turns out to be double that. So will they be paying all of it back?

Play The Game, he seemed to sneer, and in a Flash delivered that well-used political answer: He knows nothing about it.

Save Me, as Queen wrote.