Friday, August 17, 2018


The 2017 election delivered a tight result, with National feeling cheated because they no longer held a majority. So naturally, they've been trying to persuade NZ First MPs to switch sides:

National leader Simon Bridges has tried to talk New Zealand First MPs, including Ron Mark, into leaving the party, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has claimed.


"The leader of the National Party Simon Bridges has been talking to members of my caucus about how they might jump the ship and stay on, doing a deal with them. This is how bad and how rotten it is," Peters said.

He named Defence Minister and New Zealand First MP Ron Mark as a target of Bridges' approaches.

"He's been witnessed saying 'look come on Ron, let's just do a deal. You can have Wairarapa'. In short he was talking about dumping his local MP called [Alastair] Scott. So, you know, pretty bad stuff."

Mark did not return a call for comment but in a text message said "Wow, how did you find out about that."

This is completely unsurprising. National is just four seats from government, and if NZ First has refused as a party to work with them, they'll naturally try shifting individual MPs and buying their loyalty with electorate deals. Its dirty, but that's what desperate Tories when denied what they think is their "natural" place. At the same time, its no justification for anti-party-hopping legislation. If a party cannot maintain the loyalty of its MPs, then that's on them, and our democracy shouldn't be undermined because Winston Peters feels insecure and inadequate.