30 Mar 2015

Joyce promises to help Peters deliver

9:47 am on 30 March 2015

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says the Government will work alongside Northland's new MP to help him deliver on his by-election commitments to the region.

Steven Joyce talks about Sky City deal with the Government.

Steven Joyce. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters won the Northland by-election - beating National's Mark Osborne by more than 4000 votes.

Mr Peters has promised to keep the region on the Government's radar and make up for what he said were decades of neglect.

He said Northland had sent a message to the Government that it was tired of being ignored.

At least 7000 people who supported National at last year's general election switched to vote for him at the by-election, he said.

"It was a vote for a change. [Northlanders] have been marginalised and ignored, and they made a statement that they are not going to put up with that any longer, so it was essentially a vote for them to have a different outcome from the corridors of power."

The result leaves National with only 59 MPs in Parliament, but Mr Peters told Morning Report this did not mean the Government's confidence and supply partners hade increased power.

"What happened up here was that people had had enough, and they've said so," said Mr Peters.

"Elsewhere round the country they're going to say the same thing as well and to think that the Maori Party, or the Act party, or the United Future party somehow improves their bargaining power is plain ridiculous."

Mr Peters said he would resign as a list MP; this will allow a 12th New Zealand First MP into the House.

Steven Joyce, who was Mr Osborne's campaign manager, said there were lessons for the Government from the by-election result.

"We'll learn from it also in terms of the aspirations of Northlanders, and I think that's pretty important, that they were impatient with ensuring that we all take advantage of the opportunities that we know are out there.

"So we'll be more than happy to work with Mr Peters to meet some of the commitments that he's made, but also ourselves focussing on some of the things that Northland needs to really lift itself up the rankings of regions around the country."

Winston Peters makes his victory speech at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell.

Winston Peters makes his victory speech at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell. Photo: Setford

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