Winston Peters sprays insults in Parliament, initially refuses to answer question asked in te reo Māori

As the saying goes, when the cat's away the mice will play, and so it was in Parliament on Tuesday as Winston Peters held court in Christopher Luxon's absence.    

He sprayed insults, rewrote previous statements, and initially declined to answer a question as it was asked in te reo Māori.  

Peters was back for a spin in the big chair as acting Prime Minister, but haunted by the ghosts of Winston Peters past.  

The Opposition lined up with statements Peters had previously made, including when he was a minister in the previous Government. 

"Does he agree with the then-deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters when he said that the oil and gas ban 'makes sense'," asked Marama Davidson.  

Labour's Chris Hipkins asked Peters about a statement he made in which he said New Zealand First was going to stop land and house sales to foreigners.   

Peters replied to one of the questions saying, "that quote from one of the brightest guys that have ever come to this Parliament".   

He also faced comments that his new coalition partners made in the past, like when ACT leader David Seymour called him a "muppet". 

Question Time also briefly took a turn into being a pop quiz.  

Labour's finance spokesperson Grant Robertson asked Peters if knew what the minimum wage was.  

Peters stood and looked around, saying to his colleagues "$22.70".  

He said he wasn't asking if that was the correct figure but looking for affirmation from his colleagues.  

But mess with this bull - you get the horns.  

"Don't shout out like a bunch of clowns at university," he said at one point. 

"Don't just carry on like a bigoted lefty shill."  

 "No, on the marae Megan you keep quiet."  

"Woke idiotic left ideals." 

"When the handbrake left, what a mess they were." 

"Words matter Mr [Robertson] not just gobbledegook."  

His most savage was saved for Te Pati Māori.  

At first he declined to answer their question, which was asked in te reo Māori, unless Rawiri Waititi translated it for him. 

"He can tell me in English or he can [inaudible]," Peters said.   

"The people who are watching on television also are part of this parliamentary debate, that's what a democracy is called. It's not just about 5 percent, it's about the other 95 percent as well. It's called one people, one country."   

It should be noted - there was a translation provided on Parliament TV - and there was a translation available in earpieces for MPs.   

But Peters doubled down.   

Asked if he wouldn't answer questions if they were in te reo Māori, Peters said: "Would you just follow the facts for a change, I did answer a question, didn't I."  

When it was put to him that he didn't initially, Peters said: "No, no. The translation was really slow. The people out there listening were not getting the information they should have got."  

Waititi called it a "disgrace", while Te Pati Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said he was a "perfect example of a colonesian".  

A very eventful temporary turn at the top.