Duncan Garner: Winston Peters reserves the right to surprise on a daily basis

Opinion 07/08/2019

There's a reason why parties are loathe to work with Winston Peters in Government. They never really know where they stand.

They either don't trust him at all or don't completely trust him.

They never know when Winston might go off the reservation and surprise them.

Governments these days work on a "no surprises" policy and Peters signs up to that on the basis that no one surprises him. But he reserves the right to surprise on a daily basis and, hello, what just happened.

Winston is now thinking he might like to put the abortion law change to a referendum - as long as Winston is at the centre of things, who cares about the destruction and chaos it causes along the way. Now this abortion law change has been worked on for months. It's a sensitive subject and the Government wants to get the job done, legalise abortion finally after years when the law has criminalised women. 

But, astonishingly, Peters has thrown a smoke bomb at the Government, he's refusing to now say how his party will vote two days out from the crucial vote suggesting his support will be linked to a binding public referendum on the issue. What? 

Peters has demanded a referendum on euthanasia, too, cannabis will also have one.

Hell, let's have a referendum on Peters. Actually, we do every three years, but it's special - binding at just 5 percent. 

Winston Peters at the centre of everything, frustrating the hell out of everyone. He's the necessary evil that parties can't ignore but, secretly, if they could leave him waiting at the taxi rank, they would. 

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.