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Peters' Future Unclear After NZ First Meeting

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Winston Peters. Pic: NZPA
Winston Peters. Pic: NZPA

Wellington, Feb 15 NZPA - New Zealand First doesn't appear to have settled any of the questions about its future during a meeting of about 100 party members in Auckland on Saturday.

Winston Peters' position as its leader was apparently not even discussed and the only development was the resignation of deputy leader Peter Brown.

The meeting was the party's first since last year's election, when Mr Peters failed to regain the Tauranga seat and NZ First did not reach the 5 percent threshold of party votes to get back into Parliament.

NZ First is due to hold its annual conference in September and it is assumed Mr Peters will continue as leader until then, when he could be re-elected or stands down.

Mr Brown told NZPA he had been disappointed and "somewhat disillusioned" with NZ First's campaign and the election result, and had not been able to shake off the mood.

"And I decided, well if I can't shake it off, I'm better to hand it over to someone who's got the necessary vitality to build the party up again," he said.

Mr Brown said he believed Mr Peters should continue to lead the party.

"Winston's got a lot going for him as a politician, he's very good, he's got a political mind -- like everybody else he makes mistakes but it would be mad just to dispense with him," he said.

Mr Peters left the meeting early and avoided the media.

Party president George Groombridge said a media committee was being formed.

Mr Peters' relationship with the media deteriorated badly before the last election, when he was embroiled in the scandal over donations to the party.

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