Duncan Garner: Winston Peters knows he's untouchable

OPINION: Stand by for an announcement on the teacher's pay dispute today.

This is months and months in the making, and the smart money - all $1.2 billion-plus of it - is that it will finally come to an end today.

But spare a thought for Winston Peters, who must be getting sick of this Government being so slow. Cabinet collective responsibility means you never make another minister's announcement for them. It's also good manners too. But it looks like Winston Peters couldn't be bothered waiting for this, so stole everyone's thunder at Parliament yesterday.


Other ministers could be sacked for that - told off, disciplined - but not Winston. He's the boss. He rules. And this makes it hugely difficult for the Prime Minister - how can she tell him off or pull him into line when this is Winston and she serves at his pleasure?

As for Education Minister Chris Hipkins, I'd be surprised if Peters even knew his name, let alone cared about him announcing the decision.

So what did Peters actually say? Well, he said teachers will get pay parity - that's primary and secondary teachers earning the same. Holy moly, that's a long-standing issue. Is he right? I'd say he probably is, unlike last month when he said KiwiBuild is a raging success and they'll build more than 100,000 homes.

Arrghh, the delight of having a deputy Prime Minister from another party who can't be touched.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.


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