Up to party to decide if he leads: Peters

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is ready to lead the party into the 2023 general election.

In his first one-on-one interview since NZ First’s 2020 election defeat, he told Newstalk ZB yesterday "I’m fit and motivated" but

it would be up to the party to decide if he would be the leader at the next election.

Asked about criticism from people saying he made the wrong choice by siding with Labour to form the 2017 coalition government, he said he had no other choice.

"I say to them, I know you’re probably a ranting National Party supporter but you look at the sex maniacs and the mess that they’re in now and tell me, what option did I have?"

Ex-MP Shane Jones said he thought Mr Peters would lead the party back to Parliament in 2023.

Josh Van Veen, a member and former researcher for Mr Peters, said: "There’s this perception that Winston is maybe too old or past it.

"I don’t think that’s true or very accurate, but that’s the perception they’re up against.

"I think he can and should lead the party in 2023.

"He is the only viable leader for the party." 

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