NZ Election 2020: Winston Peters struggles to whip up enthusiasm in Palmerston North

While Labour hosted hundreds at a rally in Wellington on Sunday, its coalition partner New Zealand First struggled to pull in a couple of dozen supporters for a Palmerston North meeting.

The minor party's got just six days left to fight for its survival - but leader Winston Peters is refusing to consider this week the final week in an incredible 40-year political career.

Sunday markets in Palmerston North were perhaps quieter than Peters was expecting.

"Where's all the customers?" he asked.

Not even the offer of a free donut turned Peters' mood around.

"I don't eat sweets. Sorry," he said, taking a wholemeal donut without the dusting of icing sugar before taking off after less than 10 minutes.

The slog continued into the town centre.

"We're not into fossil fuels around here," one woman told him, to Peters' bemusement. "We are not into fossils around here."

Peters went into the local mall for a short reprieve, then a public meeting - what should have been the pinnacle of the day.

But five minutes after the meeting was supposed to start there were a grand total of 26 people there.

"We had a lot of people who wanted to say hello, wanted photographs," he told Newshub. When asked about the turn-out at the meeting, "There's a rugby test on," he said.

New Zealand First was on just 1.9 percent in the last Newshub Reid-Research poll - not enough to get back into Parliament.

But Peters was uninterested in reflecting on years gone by - all four decades of them.

"I'm not answering those sorts of questions on a campaign with only five days to go," he said.

The last term has been peppered with highs - Peters taking the reins after Jacinda Ardern had Neve.

"She came in and said, 'Clarke and I are having a baby.' And I said, 'Well, congratulations. Lucky you,"' he reminisced. 

Was there shock? "No."

And there are the lows: the March 15 Christchurch Mosque attacks. Peters was keen to emphasise his co-operation.

"My office sent a message to the Prime Minister right away saying we'd back her to the hilt," he said.

And at the time he did. Labour and NZ First kept the Government together for three years.

But now it's game on - each party for themselves.