Exclusive: Newshub-Reid Research poll shows majority of New Zealanders don't want Winston Peters to return to politics

Winston Peters has returned to the political stage for the first time since his party's drubbing in last year's election.

But despite his passionate speech signifying his comeback, the majority of New Zealanders don't actually want him back in politics.

In his speech on Sunday, he promised that New Zealand First will be back - but the million-dollar question is if he will be back as leader.

All signs point to yes, but Kiwis don't want him to return.

Peters used his speech to attack the media, the National Party, and his old mates in Labour, saying his party is "a phoenix that will again rise".

He also discussed the race debate, including the He Puapua report, the Government using Māori names, and New Zealand being called Aotearoa.

"We do not intend to put the name New Zealand on the endangered species list," he said.

But Peters may get a closer look at that endangered species list.

In the May Newshub-Reid Research poll, we asked: Should Winston Peters return to politics?

New Zealand said no - 70.1 percent, an overwhelming majority, have called time on politics for him. Just 19.6 percent said yes and 10.3 percent don't know.

But most of Peters' supporters back him - 62.8 percent want to see him return, but a significant chunk of 37.2 percent don't want him back.

Shane Jones believes Peters will lead the party back to Parliament.

"We'll be back with a leader called Winston Peters in 2023," Jones says.

A sentiment also held by Peters.

"We are coming back because we believe we can, so let's be sure they all hear it," he said, before getting the crowd to chant "we are coming back". 

As a man carried a sign saying "bring back Winnie" through the audience, it was a cautionary reminder to look out - Winston is coming and no one gets in his way.