Topic: Politics

PM and deputy PM talk first year in govt

By Talisa Kupenga

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy PM Winston Peters discuss a year of governance, the 'prime miniature' and how they think they’ve performed when it comes to issues that affect Māori.

Ardern says, “If you’d said in the very beginning that we would come out after a year having had such a long list of things that we’ve managed to do as a coalition government that’s something that probably would have surprised me.”

Peters says the year has been “seriously busy” and “very event-filled".

“Day-in-day-out I think we all seriously deserve a holiday this 2018 I’ll tell ya.”

In that time, Treaty grievances have rocked parliament with two heated protests on its grounds this year.  So how does the government think it’s stacked up?

Ardern says, "Cross-claims have been difficult.  I've particularly seen the obvious emotion and strength of feeling but I've still had faith in the minister to help navigate those issues and ultimately those issues have been less about government and more about issues between iwi."

Peters says the issues have “mushroomed” as a consequence of National’s changes to the foreshore seabed legislation.

"You’ll see a whole lot more cross-claims and some of them, with the greatest respect to these people, are just outrageous.

“So the feuding between tribes is happening and Andrew Little has a real tough job.  I can say though, that everyone in this cabinet and everybody in the parties is behind him trying to get a resolution as soon, as fast as we can now."  

With baby Neve in the mix now Peters says the PM's dual roles help normalise seeing mums at work.

He says, "It is normal actually.  The phenomenal thing is that something normal thing has been made phenomenal by others."

Te Kāea asked whether Peters was ‘Koro Winston” and if he’s held baby Neve.  Ardern says that would require Clarke [Gayford] to hand her over to someone.

Peters says, "They don't want the baby terrorrised, alright?"

And it's baby steps when it comes to Neve's involvement and progress with te reo Māori- the PM admits she sings Māori songs to her.

"I crudely sing to her the odd waiata.  I've got a couple of favourites, 'Te Aroha' seems a really obvious one but I'm not sure how she feels about my singing at this point actually.”

Ardern says despite some perceptions she and Peters do “like each other” and share a mutual respect.

Peters describes rhetoric that the pair have rows as “mischievous” and “uninformed” while Ardern says it’s “entertaining”.