Acting PM Winston Peters hits back at John Howard for his comments over the weekend that last year’s election was an 'unjust and unfair political result'

Acting PM Winston Peters hits back at John Howard for his comments over the weekend that last year’s election was an 'unjust and unfair political result'

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters has taken a swipe at former Australian Prime Minister John Howard over remarks he made at the National Party’s annual conference over the weekend.

Howard called last year’s election result – which gave Peters the balance of power – an “unjust and unfair political result,” calling the MMP system of Government “crook.”

Speaking at his last post-Cabinet press conference as Acting Prime Minister – confirming Jacinda Ardern would resume the Prime Ministership on Thursday – Peters did not take kindly to Howard’s remarks.

“He used to be called honest John – he had a departure from his character when he said that.”

Peters told reporters that New Zealanders don’t get “very enthusiastic” when people from overseas start “telling us how to run our country and our democracy.”

He says MMP is a superior system to the one used in Australia.

“We’re a sovereign nation, to say [the election] was unjust and unfair without being able to particularise and itemise that is rather a lazy and idol comment.”

Despite his comments, Peters says he still has a lot of respect for Howard, saying he has been to the rugby with him and his wife.

“It’s clear to me, with John Howard and John Key, that the National Party’s favourite film is Back To The Future.”

Peters also had a few words of warning for National Party President Peter Goodfellow.

At the weekend conference, Goodfellow said National had “dodged a whisky-swilling, cigarette-smoking, double-breasted and irrational bullet” – a jab at the Acting Prime Minister.

Peters was less than amused.

“One thing that’s not going to happen here, is someone like him thinking he can have a free hit on Winston Peters.”

“He did it the first time at a conference, probably emboldened by the fact that he’s still there.”

Peters says it’s “astonishing” that Goodfellow is still the Party’s President.

When pressed, Peters said: “If he opens his mouth, I’ll tell you why.”

“If he wants to repeat his comment one more time, I’ll tell you why he shouldn’t be the president of the National Party.”

After that, he left the podium and did not answer follow up questions.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday morning, Goodfellow did not appear to be too concerned with Peters' comments. 

"I remember working for Winston as a young Nat when he got elected in Hunua, so it's just about having a bit of a thick skin."

Asked if his comments were meant to offend Peters, Goodfellow was evasive saying he "didn't actional mention him."

"I just made a number of comment about the bullet we dodged - I didn't mention his name."

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Presumably, Howard would have deemed MMP fair if National had won. Peters comments are right on the money, as usual.


who the heck is John howard... no wonder they have had about 7 PM's in about that many years...

Howard was their Muldoon. A cynically divisive character.

You're right - everyone has an opinion and only too happy to express it. The fact, however, is that with MMP you get what you get, and the emotional cripples have voted in just another bunch of intellectual retards, and led by someone who is quite unfit for the job.

That's democracy. Majority rule even if you don't like them.

What's the alternative? Fascism?

That’s a rather vitriolic description of the former National government you have there bob.

love the picture, has that stick that up you look

Yes the photo says it all, the sign language guy epitomising politics - fingers pointing every which way, a look of confusion mixed the "take that!". Brilliant!

Howard is absolutely correct in his assessment. It is astonishing that the party that wins the most seats doesn't get to choose the government. I certainly didn't vote for this "crook" system.


I am typing this very slowly so that you might finally understand - National had no mates to call on, who do you think they might have chosen, there was no-one with policies that teed up with theirs, apart from Mr Zero Percent.

National only got so many votes because they were effectively the only right wing party. Had act got 10%, labour would have been the overall winner. I’m sure you wouldn’t be crying if it was a national act nz first win.


For the sake of absurdity – there are 5 parties and 100 seats.
One party gets 24% of the vote – the other 4 get 76% - the other 4 have a general level of commonality and values and can work together in cooperative government.
But no – the 24% should choose apparently – but sadly they have no friends, and thus no choices.
Nationals clever bully boys spectacularly failed in understanding our electoral system – and thus paid the price.
Sorry Mr Howard – a long way to come to utter such mindless blather.

What you describe Custard is almost exactly how Merkel retained power in Germany.

I can tell from your responses, that deep down, you know I am right.

Leaving poor old Merkel alone – as I recall it really was the below that particularly fired a number of people up – especially those against Muldoon – a rather divisive character – loved however (and loathed) by many.

That, and around that time impressive showings by Social Credit and the New Zealand Party that resulted in basically zero representation set the stage for change.

After admittedly a few spluttering starts (90’s especially) I am quite happy with our current system and prefer it over FPP.

“Criticism of the unfairness of the first past the post (FPP) voting system intensified after the 1978 and 1981 general elections. On each occasion the Labour Opposition actually secured more votes overall than National, but National won more seats in Parliament and remained in government.”

What you are wanting is first past the post which is effectively a two party system. In that case most of the votes for greens, top and Maori would have gone to labour, ACTs to national. Who knows where the nz first votes would have gone. I doubt you can be sure that national would have won that.

Zach........So you had no problem with the confidence and supply agreements National had with Act, United Future and the Maori Party which gave the National Government a majority on major legislation. National also had a signed memorandum of understanding with the Green Party after 2008. You cant have it both ways to suit yourself.


Nar, that's just how MMP works Zachary Smith. If you Google search; "How does the NZ MMP system work" - lots of information comes up. Parties aren't forced to work together under our system Zachary. For National to have formed a government alone, they would have needed 61 seats.

Also, remember, voters didn't like the National COL and voted two of their support partners completely out of parliament. Think you might need a wee refresher course of how our electoral system works.

Hope that helps Zachary :)

He just needs to learn how to count.

I have yet to find a national party voter that was not influenced by idiotic symbols such as taxinda, was too busy working long hours to know what was occurring all around them, was not influenced by narrow selfish interests (property speculators being prime examples) or were very uniformed petty businessmen that had zero coherent arguments for why they voted for such a nationally destructive party.


National runs overseas for support be it Australia or China or.....

WP is correct.


Bit desperate there National - having to roll out John Howard. At their next conference I hear they plan to bust out the ouija board and try to contact Ronald Reagan. Desperate times for National.

If Simon Bridges was a fish he would be a flounder.

But Mr Reagan knew how to kick some serious ass. Ask Mr Hussien from Bagdad.

It was George H.W. Bush who lead the first Gulf war, and only after the cheques from Mr hussien cleared - Reagan was well on the way to drooling on himself at that point...

It was George H.W. Bush who lead the first Gulf war, and only after the cheques from Mr hussien cleared - Reagan was well on the way to drooling on himself at that point...

And look what that has done to Europe. Now talk of civil war there on Youtube.

The second one was George W Bush - not sure if that matters... With YouTube, there’s talk of interdimensional Bigfeet and Lizard people ruling our flat earth - in short, you can find anything on YouTube. Take it with a grain of salt.

Any one with even half a working brain should understand that venues such as Youtube have to be negotiated with understanding. Its value lies in a very good measure of informational freedoms unlike the thought control of OUR mainstream media. On Youtube, one IS able to find trusted information sources, but I leave it to the intelligence of users as to what can be trusted. Too many here are not correctly informed about very important issues.

In YouTube you can reinforce any view point you want, should you do desire, which was my point in a roundabout way. You can cry about the MSM all you want and subscribe to whatever fatalism you choose and consider yourself informed, but I’m not sure that makes it so.

You posted before I had a chance to. Agree, YouTube is the Wild West of Information and misinformation. How someone works out what is truly true and not just perceived as true due to confirmation bias escapes me. A good example of humans capacity to perceive the truth differently is the existence of 4,000 plus religions in the world. If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to be bailed up by a fundamentalist you’ll see the same zeal in Climate Change types. Doesn’t make it right.

And can say the exact same thing about right winger free-market types. Its just another religion for some. And left wing social justice warriors too.

When pressed, Peters said: “If he opens his mouth, I’ll tell you why.”

Could get interesting, but I suspect the Goodfellow will "zip it sweetie".

NZ's MMP is the perfect "clown world" political system. You have no idea what you will end up with but it's likely to be quite a menagerie.

Still bitter over National's loss.....

You need to look in the mirror and repeat 100 times "sore loser". Trust me, it will help you and make you a better person.

Honestly, MMP makes perfect sense, National failed to secure a governing majority in parliament, while the CoL did... Not that difficult to get to that point. Also, National seems to cannabalise it’s support parties, no wonder only Dancing David is the only one willing to get into bed with them, they’re the only people who will let him in. The sourness of the National apologists here is really something else..

“idol threats” - Freudian slip?

John Key - a passed used by date product.Trotting out for support John Howard- another expired product.I would rather listen to the sound of my fart.

Australia electoral system has that "Preference" which is 't much better than our MMP. They still ended up with people like Hanson in their parliament.

If the polls go-to 35% Judith will of course be able to help. Haha