19 Oct 2019

NZ First would only work with a National that 'goes back to what it used to be'

6:45 pm on 19 October 2019

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the National Party in its current form isn't one he'd want to negotiate with.

Ron Mark, Winston Peters and Shane Jones in Christchurch at the New Zealand First NZ First conference.

New Zealand first MPs arriving to the annual conference today. From left, Ron Mark, Winston Peters and Shane Jones. Photo: RNZ / Jo Moir

The party faithful are gathered in Christchurch this weekend for their annual conference where Mr Peters has lashed out at the National Party and the media.

Winston Peters' attacks on the National Party have ramped up in recent months but he's quick to point out they've been getting as much as they've been giving.

At next year's election the party will campaign on being able to form a government with both sides of the political spectrum.

But Mr Peters admits it won't be easy to negotiate with the National Party.

"Yes, it will be difficult but no party is beyond redemption. If the National Party recovers and goes back to what it used to be - a National Party with a capital N - there's a chance of talking to them. But right now the only National Party you're seeing in this country is the one you're looking at,'' he said.

With the election creeping closer Mr Peters didn't use his introductory speech today to focus on their coalition wins.

Instead it was more about reminding party members where they'd put a stop to Labour and the Green Party.

The death of a capital gains tax and the clamping down on industrial relations reform were emphasised.

"Well we're a super-charged turbo when it comes to good ideas, and a handbrake for unsound ideas,'' he said.

Mr Peters began the day fronting up to licensed gun owners protesting across the road from the conference.

He along with other senior MPs went and addressed the crowd of about 100 and promised to consider the second tranche of gun reform seriously before taking a position.

He also made jibes at RNZ, and employees of MediaWorks, who face uncertainty, a day after the company announced it was selling off its television arm.

Tomorrow Mr Peters will give his public address where he'll make a policy announcement.

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