Peters' cheeky response to Bridges-Ross fallout

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has given a media response like no other, playing the song Burning Bridges before heading into the House for Question Time.

Earlier today, National kicked "lone wolf" Jami-Lee Ross out of the party for his "appalling behaviour", saying it would welcome a police inquiry into "baseless" allegations of corruption.

Leader Simon Bridges said the party wanted to draw a line under the leak episode and be a united caucus going forward. He rejected Ross calling him a "corrupt" politician who was not fit to be prime minister.

Laughing as he spoke, Peters today told media to "listen up" as he put his phone up to the microphones to play the tune.

The song was Burning Bridges by the Mike Curb Congregation. Between the chuckles he announced "here comes the punchline" as the chorus played.

Botany byelection will be a scrap: PM

Ross resigned from the party this morning, triggering a byelection in his Botany seat, saying he intended to stand as an independent.

“I’m confident I can run on a track record of 15 years.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the byelection would be a "scrap that will have a different dynamic”, than Kiwis are used to.

Although Labour had not yet selected a candidate, she was not sounding optimistic about winning the Auckland seat.

“There is no doubt this is going to be a scrap that will have a different dynamic to it. Whether or not that will result in a shift [in the electorate] over to our direction is very unlikely.”

Ardern said Botany has traditionally been a strong National seat.

“This, however, is going to be an interesting byelection to say the least.”

She said having Ross running as an independent would give the election a “different dynamic”.

“But no doubt, this is going to be a very different byelection than what we’re used to in New Zealand.”

Ardern said she would be having conversations with her Labour Party about “what they would like to do in this race”.

Green’s co-leader James Shaw said whether or not the party stands a candidate was up to the executive.

“We haven’t even begun to examine that,” he said, but added that it was being considered. “We will have to get to that bridge when we get to it.”

NZ First leader Winston Peters said his party had not made a decision about standing a candidate yet.

“We always make those decisions on the basis of the caucus - it’s party discussions which we haven’t had.

When pressed, he said: “We don’t make decisions off the top of our head, we’re famous for consultation.”

ACT Leader David Seymour said the party would probably stand a candidate, but it was up to the board as to who that will be.

In last year’s election, Ross won the electorate by a significant margin - winning 21,400 votes to the Labour candidate’s 8500. It was a similar result in 2014.




Winston Peters seem to know this was coming a couple of weeks ago which suggests Jamie Ross and Winston have been talking. I wonder if Ross would consider running as an NZ First candidate.