Newshub Nation: Panel says public office candidates should be 'careful about their language'

Newshub Nation's political panel joined Saturday's show to discuss Winston Peters, racism, education, crime, and the final two weeks of the election campaign.


Talking about New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, veteran journalist Jodi Ihaka said he always has to say "something controversial".

"Shallow, ignorant, lazy, ageist, and arrogant - and he was just referring to the media."

Ihaka was referring to a moment where Peters told Newshub Nation co-host Rebecca Wright mid-interview to stop her "lazy journalism".

Toby Manhire, editor-at-large of The Spinoff, said hearing National leader Christopher Luxon talk about New Zealand First was like a "strange dance".

"I [Luxon] don't want to work with him [Peters], but I don't want to work with him enough not to work with him," Manhire said.

Meanwhile, Peters is "just loving it".

"He's invoking the bible and the All Blacks and just going for it. He is on fire."


As the conversation turned to racism, Ihaka said there have been "so many allegations, stories, and anecdotes" this election campaign.

The alleged invasion of and damage to Te Pāti Māori candidate Hana Maipi-Clarke's home this week was "pretty shocking", she said.

She also pointed to Willow-Jean Prime's experience in the past few months.

"The heckling this time and the actual straight-up racist delegations are terrible."

Manhire agreed, saying ugliness has seeped through a "large part" of the election campaign.

"I think that we should have an expectation of candidates for public office to be careful about their language," he told host Simon Shepherd.

"We're lucky enough to have a democracy where people are pretty accessible."


And in terms of the Newshub Leaders' Debate on Wednesday, Ihaka thought Labour leader Chris Hipkins won the night.

"Who showed up was someone who believed they were presidential, a Prime Minister".

She added Luxon did well too, and came across less cold afterwards.

"Because he was smiling, slightly warmer."

Manhire said Hipkins had to get maximum cut-through in Newshub's debate after not getting his points across well in the first one.

On the other hand, Manhire said Luxon held it together well.

"He held his poise, managed to keep a smile going. He didn't look like someone who was out of his depth."

He commended host Patrick Gower for knocking the two leaders off their talking points well.


Speaking about crime, Ihaka thought Aotearoa does have a rising problem.

"You just need to watch the news every night."

But she also said she didn't know if National's crime spokesperson Mark Mitchell was getting enough cut-through.

"I think it's a shame if we get too lost into the hard-on-crime debate," Manhire said.

Mitchell's main achievement is his long-term stability as police spokesperson, "partly because of the revolving door of Police Ministers", he quipped.


Over the next two weeks, Ihaka said she wants to hear stronger messaging from the party leaders.

"I'd actually just like to see a little bit more of the personality behind the politician."

Whereas Manhire is worried turnout "is going to plummet" this election.

He wants politicians to "tell us what New Zealand looks like in 15 to 20 years."


Watch the full video above.

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