Winston Peters calls Simon Bridges’ Chinese media interview, “subservient groveling”

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters used his speech during Parliament’s General Debate on Wednesday to criticize the interview National Party leader Simon Bridges gave Chinese state media during his visit to the Asian country earlier this month.

"I have never heard such obsequious, subservient grovelling, kowtowing, palm-kissing nonsense," said Mr Peters.

Mr Bridges praised the Communist Party of China (CCP) for taking the country from mass poverty to economic prosperity in the state media interview, calling it an "amazing story".

Mr Peters said the interview was "staggering" because he "belongs to a country that for all these decades and down through the years... has been a democracy". He argued that New Zealand stands for "the rule of law, believes in protection - not persecution by government... reason, fairness and equality, and dare I say it is as a model of transparency".

The NZ First leader said former New Zealand PMs Sidney Holland (1949-1957), Keith Holyoake (1957), John Marshall (1972) and Robert Muldoon (1975-1984) would be "turning in their graves" if they heard the interview.

"What an amateur let loose on an international stage... Unbelievable,” Mr Peters said of Mr Bridges.

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