Jun 22, 2008

Winston Raymond Peters: Some Views From Tauranga

The SST has an interesting feature on attitudes to Winston in Tauranga. We don't think that Winston will be terribly happy. There are a couple of positive references but as the article says

Tauranga seemed to be in the negative phase of its love-hate relationship with him.

We think the article shows that the people of Tauranga have great insight and integrity. We select a few quotes:

"Winston doesn't have any integrity," says second-hand bookshop manager Kirsten Allan, 36. "Whatever it takes to get power, he'll do it."
"Winston Peters," says retired IRD worker Edward Munn, 83, "had the qualities of a good leader, but somehow he lost it along the way."
"Why would you put someone who can be openly racist as foreign affairs minister?" says Sarah Craven, 22, a visitor host at Tauranga Art Gallery. "The only thing I like about Winston is that he got the bridge extended." (Peters promised Tauranga he would extract the toll-free construction of a new bridge across the harbour from his coalition agreement with Labour.)

He is also apparently rude

THE FOREIGN affairs minister always orders a whole snapper, says Rangi Smith over the crackling roar of deep-frying potato chips. Even though he lives in Auckland and works in Wellington and travels all over the world, Winston Peters comes to Tauranga's Fresh Fish Market every couple of months and he's rude.
"He just goes, `I want a whole snapper'," says Smith, 25. "He doesn't say please or anything like that." She won't be voting for him in the election.

What about the elderly?

Tauranga is growing fast. The population is 110,000 and is expected to double by 2050, says mayor Stuart Crosby, and young families are streaming in to take advantage of opportunities in agriculture, horticulture and manufacturing, not to mention the lifestyle. But right now, "we've still got twice the national average of over-60s", says Crosby. "It would be a foolish person that wrote Winston Peters off."
Ian Anderson, regional director of Grey Power, isn't so sure. "Grey Power in Tauranga used to be called Winston's Army. There are still a lot of members who think that Winston is just the greatest, but I think there are less than used to be the case."
Members felt betrayed when Peters didn't vote for a bill to cap council rates, says Anderson. They were also unimpressed by NZ First's "shifty" repayment of election overspending to charities instead of to Parliamentary Services, and Peters' refusal to announce if he'll stand for Tauranga.
It's an example, says Anderson (a National supporter), of how Peters has separated himself from the interests of his own party.