NZ First has long sought changes to how the RBNZ runs monetary policy. So Alex Tarrant attempted to ask Winston Peters what he thought about Labour's monetary policy proposals

By Alex Tarrant

Labour has just got Monetary Policy on the front pages. Its finance spokesman Grant Robertson is out there as the politician leading calls for reform on how the Reserve Bank operates.

And that means Winston Peters isn’t happy.

I thought I’d ask the New Zealand First leader what his thoughts were on Labour’s new policy. After all, they might just be government partners after 23 September. Or at least Peters’ support for the changes might be required by Labour if he chooses to sit on the cross benches.

I was wondering whether Labour’s proposals could be compatible with New Zealand First’s long-held stance on the Reserve Bank Act.

But Peters didn’t seem too keen on being the one who was now having to respond to another party calling for changes to the way the Reserve Bank operates:

“You’re asking somebody who’s had a Bill before Parliament on the Reserve Bank Act, and has failed by one vote twice in the last three years? You’re asking him?”

Yep. Is it something he could support?

“When are you guys gonna get off your backsides and report who was there a long, long time ago?”

“You think you’re going to…tell me you’ve got something novel from the Labour Party on the Reserve Bank Act?”

I wasn’t saying it was novel.

“You are years too late.”

“You suck up to the Labour Party if you like. You suck up to the Greens and National if you like, but we’re not going to do that. We were talking about the need to change our monetary, our fiscal and our Reserve Bank policy a long, long time ago. We failed by one vote, twice, in this House in the last three years.”

I accept that. But now Labour is out there again proposing changes not dissimilar to New Zealand First’s policy. I just want to know whether the policies are compatible enough that agreement might be found again after the election to drive change through?

“Who do you work for?”

Interest.co.nz. We focus on monetary policy, and we’ve carried New Zealand First’s policies on our website – quite regularly in fact. (Here's an interest.co.nz video interview with Peters from 2014 where he talks about monetary policy).

“Don’t just hit me with a barrage of stupid questions. With the greatest respect, the next three, four, five months are going to be about the facts that the people of New Zealand need to know, not what you guys in the Press Gallery think.”

But he still wouldn’t let up the chance to have a dig.

“Others have said it's cosmetic. Other economists and people who understand, they’ve said it’s not likely to work. I’ve heard all the comments and I wouldn’t be so nasty as to add to them. Thank you very much.”

And that was that.


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13 Comments

That's pretty typical for an interview with Winston. He also thought you were mainstream media. A pity he didn't take the opportunity to actually provide some content, but then he didn't like the real questions being asked.

Oh my God ... oh lawdy lawdy ... that is so funny .... absolutely brilliant .... the angry big old brown bear at his finest ... swotting away the buzzing little journo , Alex ...

... and people still take Peters seriously .... they actually want to vote for him .... hee heee heeee ...

As the 11 y.o. once said : " Daddy ... I love fuming beings , they are so funny ! "

... out of the mouths of babes and infants !

It worked for trump. I don't think there is anything wrong with a politician having a rant and losing their polish every now and then. You learn more about what they're really thinking.

"every now and then" Ha!

LOL. Not surprising at all.

So I guess you've figured out that, next time what you want to say is: "I have read NZ First's policy and proposed legislation on amendments to the Reserve Bank Act, and I note that your policy position differs from that recently announced by Labour. [in this or that way]..." and then on with the questions.

Winston of course criticises media as being generally uninformed. So, show him you appreciate/know he and NZ First got there first, so to speak, and perhaps you'll get on just fine!!!!!

I can imagine how annoyed he is this election - as everyone seems to be promoting what he's been saying has needed to be done for years and years.

And, he's never been interested in the "could you work with..." type question. Red rag to a bull and all that.

Yeah the interviewer's approach shows the Generation GAP

Baby Boomer VS GenY approach very much in evidence , a forthright direct young interviewer and the tough wily old goat .

If you want a decent response from the old man , try the softly -catch -a- monkey approach , like;-

""Mr Peters ......... do you have a moment to answer some questions about NZ First's views on the new Labour Policy on the RB Act ? ""

He may be easier to deal with , because while I am easy going , even I get annoyed at the smart-arsed know -it -all arrogance and disrespect of the younger generations .

Credit to the reporter. Those questions were pretty unambiguous.

Classic Peter's response; goes into a blathering fit anytime anyone asks him for any specifics, and attacks the interviewer

That was a crap interview and deserved the disdain Winston gave it. He was on his way somewhere in a noisy place and gets asked impromptu questions by an unknown journalist shoving a camera in his face.
If you want respect, show respect. If you want an interview make an appointment and announce the content. He has had 20 plus years of that crap.

He has had 20 years of dishing out CRAP and nothings changed and thats why his political career will always have a......
shoulda,coulda woulda but didn't asterix beside his name.

Actually it reads like one of those John Clark really good political interview taking the p..s! which are popping up all over the place now. Don't believe Winston trusts or respects any journalists, don't believe he needs to so may as well say what the mood of the day might yield. Same as Trump in some ways.

Winston is just a belligerent and cantankerous old man , who, not unlike the Greens, is opposed to just about anything and everything .

Can you imagine a coalition Government with Winston in the mix?

God help us.

Its a pity he is the way he is, because I agree on his ideas vis-a-vis immigration, but there is little else that I agree with him on .

You like being lied to .....

Geeeeez Boatman - opposed - oppose - that's exactly what opposition parties do

Seems you prefer the poison of the polished apple from the apple polishers to the raw in-your-face reality that Winston Peters dishes out and has dished out for years - and has recently been proven to have been right all along

You would rather be lied to by the smooth silken-tongued Wellington dwellers