27 Sep 2017

VIDEO: Winston Peters speaks to media

8:13 pm on 27 September 2017

Winston Peters launched a tirade against the media this afternoon, hurling insults at journalists and deriding their election coverage.

Winston Peters

Winston Peters Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell

New Zealand First holds the balance of power following the weekend's election, and its caucus met for the first time today.

At a hastily called press conference in the Beehive Theaterette a combative Mr Peters told the media they should be ashamed of themselves and ranted at some of those who tried to ask questions.

Watch Winston Peters' press conference:

Mr Peters told the press conference his caucus had discussed the nine different possible government scenarios and laid down some ground rules.

"We first of all we foreswore as a group of MPs to ensure that we didn't put our own personal views - from the leader, to the most newest member of caucus - above the interest of the party and above the interest of the country.

"That's what I said on election night and that's what we're going to do.

With nine seats from the preliminary vote count in the election, and neither major party able to form a government alone, New Zealand First has a grip on the balance of power.

"I've got a very very intelligent group of people who've worked through everyone's manifesto, looked at all the similarities, the possibilities and where it might go," he said.

Both National and Labour have been assembling their teams and looking for common policy areas to negotiate with New Zealand First.

"So when we do have a meeting we'll have a very intelligent conversation and we won't be - and you'll be grateful for this - wasting anyone's time."

"I want to tell you that we're not going to be persuaded or dissuaded by any of the speculative drivel that's been written by some of you around this country and you should be frankly ashamed of yourselves - it's not true, it's utterly false," Mr Peters said.

RNZ political editor Jane Patterson asked Mr Peters if there might be some preliminary discussions with National and Labour's negotiation teams before the special vote count on 7 October.

"Well why would you ask a question like that?"

"Because I'd like to know the answer," Ms Patterson responded.

"I know you'd like to know the answer but why on earth would you ask a question like that ... it's a totally unreasonable question, I'm asking you why would we have the discussion and you can't tell me," Mr Peters responded.

"No, with the greatest of respect the New Zealand public don't want to be misinformed by mindless speculation.

"All I said is I can't talk to you until I know what the 384,000 people who have cast their (special) vote have said - that's huge, don't diminish it.

"And please don't write the kind of thing that says someone's got moral authority, for what?

"We're not under First Past the Post here, we're under MMP and I expect the media to catch up, after 21 years."

An Australian journalist asked Mr Peters what his priorities would be when he kicked off negotiations.

"Where are you from?" Mr Peters asked, to which the reporter responded "Australia".

"Yeah it shows, next question please."

Mr Peters previously said he would not agree on a deal until the count of the special votes is known on 7 October.

Earlier, he would only say he was in the capital to talk to his caucus and declined to answer further questions.

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