Cantankerous Winston Peters digs deep against National, MediaWorks and gun owners at NZ First conference

Winston Peters left the New Zealand First Conference today to chat to fed up gun owners protesting outside. 

In true Peters fashion he kicked off his party's annual get together by lambasting the National Party and the media but this time he crossed a line, making light of the sale of MediaWorks TV and the 520 jobs now on the line. 

Peters opened the party conference with a short speech, wooing the party faithful: "When we arrived yesterday in Christchurch, there was a storm before we leave there will be sunshine everywhere".

But it didn’t take long for cantankerous Peters to emerge, first having a crack at the National Party, "don't give them, unless they're reformed, another chance".

Then came the classic anti-media rhetoric and attacking of the polls, demanding that any journalist who ran the polls must resign when New Zealand First is elected in 2020.

But then Peters took it far too far, making light of the sale of MediaWorks TV - 520 jobs are on the line.

"I'm sorry for some of them because they deserve to stay to some of them good riddance", Peters told his delegates. 

When asked by Newshub how many terms he has left in him, Peters replied: "I think I've got more terms in me than some of those asking the questions". 

It's Winston 101 - on steroids, but then he went off-piste - leaving the comfort of the NZ First conference and his loyal groupies to meet protesters outside fighting against his government's gun reforms.

He told protesters that New Zealand First is not out to get them, that the party are gun owners themselves but cut off one gun-owner when they told him: "We feel as a shooting community that we are another 250,000 victims".

Peters replied: "If you say your voice represents 250,000 gun owners, hang on mate, you're wrong". 

But gun owners are warning NZ First votes are on the line, telling Newshub they could lose or gain votes that people feel betrayed and let down massively.

Peters was backed by his boys, Ron Mark, an avid hunter, and Shane Jones, who was firing an AR15 on holiday recently - the same gun used in the Christchurch attack.

When asked if there was a chance New Zealand First may not support the second tranche of gun reforms Peters was irate, simply exclaiming, "oh for godsake". 

Instead, Peters preferred to talk up what he considers wins  like killing the Capital Gains Tax 

"We have kept the government on the right track by stopping damaging economic policies like the complex capital gains tax," he said. 

"We're a supercharged turbo when it comes to good ideas and a handbrake when it comes to bad ideas."  

For Peters, this conference is about trying to regain control and rally the base.

After leaks from disgruntled supporters, the party president jumping ship and his MP Clayton Mitchell, getting kicked out of a pub after an incident with security.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: