David Seymour: Winston Peters a 'likable rogue' who's 'done a lot of damage'

ACT leader David Seymour.
ACT leader David Seymour. Photo credit: Newshub.

While swarms of media follow secret negotiations taking place in the Beehive, ACT leader David Seymour is quietly winding his way through the South Island, visiting those who campaigned for ACT this election, only pausing to hurl some mud in Winston Peters' direction. Today he's aiming that mud squarely at Mr Peters' hair.

His back-blocks trip is almost a visual metaphor of the position he's found himself in this election.

Whatever NZ First decides to do, Mr Seymour will find himself representing ACT alone on the Opposition benches of Parliament.

He'll be taking on a Labour-led Government, sharing the Opposition benches with National or sitting alongside Labour and the Greens, taking on a National-led Government.

Either way, he'll be staring across the room at Winston Peters.

It can't be where he thought he'd be.

Prior to the election, Mr Seymour was talking about bringing five MPs into Parliament. Mr Seymour is back in Parliament, thanks to the strategic voters of Epsom, but ACT won just 0.5 percent of the vote, so he's alone in Parliament, again.

But, he claims, it's where he'd rather be.

"I can't think of a better time to not be in Government than right now, because the fact is that Winston Peters is a charismatic crook.

"He's a likable rogue but someone who's done a lot of damage to the country," Mr Seymour said cheerfully, from somewhere on a South Island road.

Mr Seymour believes NZ First will be "enormously damaging" to whichever party it ends up working with, saying the times NZ First worked with National and Labour, the Government was "turfed out at the next election."

"It takes about six years for a party to recover from a bout of Peters," Mr Seymour said, pathologising the NZ First leader.

To be fair, though, the 2005 confidence and supply agreement was with a third-term Labour Government, whose popularity was waning. Then along came a man named John Key.

The 1996 coalition was messy and damaging.

I'd called up Mr Seymour to ask about some comments on Whaleoil he'd waded into, in which he'd implied Cameron Slater was misleading readers to undermine ACT.

"They are suggesting that I somehow failed because I'm not trying to negotiate myself into a Government," Mr Seymour said.

He says there was no way a National-led Government would boot out a minister to make way for him.

"I wish the world worked that way," he said, "but sadly that's not it."

When asked whether his money is on a National-NZ First deal, Mr Seymour said: "If they are willing to offer him Prime Minister."

Mr Seymour then made the very bold allegation that Mr Peters gets his hair blow waved every morning.

"I don't know a lot about hair care, but I asked the stylists at TVNZ makeup 'Is that blow-waved?" And they said, 'Absolutely, that's blow-waved.' I trust them as an authority on hair care.

"This is easily the vainest man in NZ. He wants his picture on the wall. He wants to be immortalised as Prime Minister."