During the annual “Mood of the Boardroom” meeting – which is a gathering of key business leaders in New Zealand – many participants lauded New Zealand First and its leader Winston Peters as the ‘voice of reason’ in the Coalition Government.
When business leaders were asked to rate Mr Peters’ ability to influence their coalition partner (Labour Party) in government to achieve policy outcomes, they gave him an impressive score of 3.59 out of 5. Many of them also noted that the NZ First Leader is in tune with the view of a wide cross-section of New Zealand and understands what the electorate can accept and what it will not.
Furthermore, most respondents — some 64 per cent — say that Winston Peters and his party have had a moderating effect on Labour within the Coalition that is producing better outcomes for business and farming communities.
"It seems that sometimes Winston is the voice of reason and experience at the Cabinet table," says one chairperson.
Foodstuffs North Island's Chris Quin adds: "NZ First are engaged, seem to be pragmatic and focused on producing better outcomes."
At the Red Meat Sector Conference this year, one speaker urged attendees to vote for NZ First for the moderating effect the party brings. Banker Don Brash says the business community owes the partial retention of the 90-day trial period for smaller businesses to NZ First, "and the farming community may well owe NZ First for moderation in the Zero Carbon Bill".
Independent director Cathy Quinn lamented at the importance of that achievement: “we do need to see that the climate change legislation allows business and farming to adapt in a sensible time frame”.