New Zealand First Party

This party won 7% of the party vote in 2011 which gave the party 8 MPs. The leader, Winston Peters, is a very experienced politician. He has been an MP since 1978 except for 3 years. He was Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer in the 1996 National government and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the 2005 Labour government. He is called the Kingmaker because on those two occasions New Zealand First was in coalition with the government. Without his party, the majority party did not have enough MPs to form a government. The same thing could happen again in 2014.

He is very popular among elderly people. In 2007, he was responsible for getting the Super Gold Card for people over 65. With this card, seniors can travel on the bus for free at non-peak times. The party believes that the age for Superannuation should stay at 65.

The party has conservative policies on many things. It is tough on crime and wants longer prison sentences for some criminals. The party does not want overseas people to buy houses or land in New Zealand. In fact, Mr Peters wants New Zealand for New Zealanders; he would not encourage immigration.

On the liberal side, however, New Zealand First wants cheaper electricity and wants to buy back the electricity company shares which National sold. The party wants to raise the minimum age to $17 an hour.

It is not clear which party New Zealand First would support if it is needed in a coalition. Mr Peters said he would talk first to the party which wins the most votes.

Go to New Zealand First website to read more.

Vocabulary

• politician – a person in politics, usually an MP
• coalition – two (or more) parties join together
• non-peak – not busy times
• Superannuation – the pension
• conservative – traditional, does not like change
• liberal – wants change, (opposite of traditional)

Question

Why could Mr Peters be the Kingmaker after this election?






Leave a Reply