Patrick Gower: Little's spy move gives big love to Winston

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters (Getty)
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters (Getty)

OPINION: Andrew Little has just given big love to Winston Peters by nominating him to a role with oversight of the country's spies.

It is a cunning move that sends the message Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First are all working together.

Little has nominated Peters to the Intelligence and Security committee which assesses some of the most critical issues facing New Zealand in top secret briefings on the work of spies from the SIS and GCSB.

The committee is made up of big players like the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition - although the Greens and NZ First have been blocked until now.

It is a plum job and Little is sacrificing a spot for Labour by nominating Peters to replace David Shearer. That's what you call a big favour.

And the Greens backing the Winston Peters nomination is another big move: the Greens would usually be complaining about why they aren't on it.

Little has also promised to extend the committee to include the Greens and Winston as of right - another symbolic gesture.

Now the pressure is on Bill English and the Government - will they let the nomination of Winston Peters through?

After all, Bill English needs to give Winston Peters political love as well - he could need him as much after the election as Little does.

Patrick Gower is Newshub's political editor