Winston Peters has announced his political comeback in a passionate and fiery speech he gave to New Zealand First party faithful.
It was his first speech since his party was kicked out of Parliament after last year's election, where it received just 2.6 percent of the party vote.
Peters, who was Deputy Prime Minister under the last Government, has kept a low profile since New Zealand First failed to get re-elected, and his speech in Auckland on Sunday was his first since that dismal election result.
Speaking at his party's AGM, he told party faithful he is making a political return.
"Our beliefs are in our name: New Zealand First. When you leave here today, leave with this mission - to spread our unique message as wide as you can. We are coming back," he said.
"We are coming back because we believe we can, so let's be sure they all hear it."
He then asked the crowd to chant "we are coming back", before a man carried a sign through the audience that said "Bring back Winnie".
"We are a phoenix that will again arise as the public wake up to the inexactitude... of this Government and a hapless National Party," Peters added.
He used part of his speech to attack Labour and National, saying New Zealand First is "prepared to raise the roof" when others aren't "prepared to raise a finger".
While talking about "wholesale breaches of the law" seen in Auckland recently that "police stood by", including cyclists storming the Harbour Bridge in protest and gang members blocking a major road in the city, Peters said his party didn't drive police recruitment numbers up just to see this outcome.
"Today the political situation on the surface is very much a status quo carryover from the election. Labour has just delivered a Budget for its base - amazing how it was seen by the commentariat. It's as though they don't remember any part of this country's great history," he said.
"The PM, as you know, remains popular as National haemorrhages. They say, 'So why did you not go with National in 2017?' - have a look at the mess they're in. Come on, have a good hard look at the mess they're in."
Peters also attacked the Government's pre-election promise of no new taxes.
"Post-election, [they] upped the Brightline test. Just as they now are whacking tradies and farmers with a fee to make it cheaper for 'Ngāti Woke' to buy an electric car."
He also said the disruption that arose because of COVID-19 is Labour's Global Financial Crisis, but if it's unchallenged, it will "produce a powerful effect on our politics and the psychology that sits beneath it".