15 Jul 2017

Peters slams party leaders at annual party meeting

5:51 pm on 15 July 2017

Winston Peters has attacked the leaders of both main parties at the New Zealand First annual meeting and election year convention.

Winston Peters heads out on the campaign trail.

Winston Peters with his campaign bus. Photo: RNZ / Jane Patterson

About 300 New Zealand First members and candidates were at the convention in South Auckland today.

Mr Peters said the public was fed up the way the country is being run and that's why New Zealand First was surging in the polls.

The latest RNZ News poll of polls has the party at 11 percent - meaning Mr Peters could potentially decide the make-up of the next government.

He said it was clear the country has had enough and is looking for an alternative.

"Everybody that is voting for New Zealand First knows this, that the present economic system and social system is going to change and is going to change dramatically," he said.

New Zealand First's annual meeting and election year convention.

New Zealand First's annual meeting and election year convention. Photo: RNZ / Benedict Collins

"And we're not going to go along with this 33-year experiment, economically, that has seen us plummeting down the OECD.

"There are a whole lot of people that are going to vote for New Zealand First because they see us as one chance of changing that around."

He said if Labour fell another two or three points in the polls, its leader Andrew Little would not be in Parliament.

He said the public was about to find out Prime Minister Bill English had no form as a campaigner or a leader.

Mr Peters said with this week's weather around the country he was "pretty grateful" at the turn out of party members and candidates.

Across town at the Green's Annual General Meeting, co-leader James Shaw scoffed at Mr Peters suggestion that Mr Little would not have the numbers to be in Parliament.

"Labour's polling is well north of [22 percent] consistently. So to cast that notion around is just grandstanding, which is what you would anticipate from the person who made that suggestion."

Meanwhile, New Zealand First members passed a remit today calling for disabled New Zealanders to be granted cards, similar to Gold Cards for superannuitants, that would give them free public transport during off-peak periods.

They also passed another remit calling for the Ombudsman to be given greater powers so that the office can inspect private, as well as public, dementia homes.

The remits will now be considered by the party's MPs.

Mr Peters will deliver his keynote address tomorrow afternoon.

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