Winston Peters breezed into the Grey Power meeting in Kaitaia last week. The audience was as you would expect, old. His performance was too. He addressed all the issues that appeal to the geritol set; crime, superannuation, the conspiracy against him... all very predictable.
He was charming and wore a nice suit. Besides the donation made to him, I doubt that he walked away having gained or lost anything. I expect the same result from inquiries by the House Privileges Committee, or from the SFO. The former lack the subpoena powers to get facts and the latter, winding up their activities, will not want to go out on a controversial note. This leaves the media.
The media are waiting for someone else to do the investigative work. They lack the resources or expertise to do an investigative story that goes deeper than the clues provided by the whistle-blowers who sent the cancelled cheques to various members of the press some two years ago. In that time they have added nothing to the story. So, it will probably die a slow death. I expect New Zealand First will do badly in the next election. Winston is unlikely to win his seat in Tauranga, but will likely get enough second votes to get a seat on the list. A small part of me is frustrated at the injustice of it all. In the end, I expect regular kiwis don't care very much about the story. Like me, they figure that political life is a hell of a lot more interesting with him than without him.