1 Aug 2015

NZ First prepares for 'three-way fight'

12:20 pm on 1 August 2015

The New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has issued a call to arms to party members, telling them to prepare for a three-way fight in the 2017 General Election.

Winston Peters giving his 2015 Budget speech.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Mr Peters told the party's annual convention in Rotorua this morning that it needs more money and more members if it is to compete against the National and Labour parties in 2017.

Mr Peters said New Zealand First was on the back foot every election and that had to change.

"We know that unless we have mass membership, and them working for us and financially supporting us then we'll go into the next election as we have the last 22 years - severely handicapped by the confrontation of big money in New Zealand politics," he said.

"We are targeting tens and tens of thousands of party members - people to be party members and supporting us - we think that's possible."

Mr Peters said without a big increase in members he would resign as "there would no sense going on."

He said the party is aiming for a "fighting fund" for the next General Election of "way beyond" $1 million.

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