Winston Peters’ political career is over, and I am glad.
But even with that final storm of dishonesty and showmanship, and the memories of bigotry and anger, I have tried to hold on to the great things he did.
- He campaigned long and hard for national ownership and against privatisation. He, almost single handedly, stopped the privatisation agenda of the Bolger-Shipley National government.
- He proved this generation of MÄori electors is a force to be reckoned with and can’t be taken for granted.
- Under both National and Labour governments he achieved increases to the minimum wage.
- His ceaseless campaigning for older people prevented or undid some of the worst of the damage done by the ideological zeal of Labour and National governments intent on dismantling the welfare state.
- He fought to keep the big corporates honest and treating New Zealanders fairly.
Winston Peters was from a time when we looked after each other, when we were proud of our country, and when we stood firm in our independence. His concept of “we” and how we should live are not mine, but they are good things to believe. I would like to thank him for his time and his energy, he has made New Zealand a better place.