Election 2023: Kingmaker hopeful Winston Peters vows National, ACT 'can't and won't' form a Government without him

  • 30/09/2023

New Zealand's kingmaker hopeful - again - says he's willing to put aside his differences with ACT Party leader David Seymour to form a right-bloc Government if he's in a position to do so. 

In an interview with Newshub Nation exactly two weeks out from a bid back into Parliament, Winston Peters, who was booted from power after the last election, dismissed National leader Christopher Luxon's comments about not knowing him. Peters also said the Nats - even with the support of ACT - "can't and won't" reach the 61-seat threshold needed to form a Government. 

The 78-year-old Peters will contest his 15th election in a fortnight, having been the kingmaker three times during that long political career. 

"There's... change out there now in the public," he said. "They are changing every day and at great speed now. A lot of the so-called forecasts, or the polls, are really wrong because the polls are way behind changing events."   

Most of those polls have Peters' New Zealand First Party hovering around the 5 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament.  

That could leave National and ACT hamstrung, with this week's Newshub-Reid Reid poll finding they would fall just short of forming a Government - therefore needing NZ First, which was sitting on 5.2 percent. 

NZ First was backed by 2.6 percent of voters at the last election. On Saturday, he insisted his party had halls "packed to the gunwales". 

"People are saying they want a change because they know that National and ACT have hit the ceiling, and so has the Labour Party - things are in big trouble for them," he said. 

"They want to know, are we going to have a far better Government than the one we had?"

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