Check out Peters’ stamina and Nordic travel plans before conjecturing on his political future

After  a gruelling  three  months as  the  key   figure of   Jacinda Ardern’s coalition,  Foreign  Minister   Winston Peters  might have  been looking  forward    to   a  quiet  Easter  at  his  Northland seaside  hideout.  Instead he’s  on  a  weeklong    mission  to  the  capitals  of   four   Nordic  countries  as  part  of    what he  calls   a  “deliberate and  targeted” effort.

He  says   NZ   needs to be  “well-positioned” in a changing  European landscape, particularly post-Brexit.

It is important to maintain bonds with countries which share our values for rules-based international order, and there is much we can learn from these countries”.

The  mission, which  will   include  talks with the  leading  politicians  of  Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland over the week, follows the opening of the NZ Embassy in Stockholm last year.  The  decision  to  open  an embassy in Stockholm  can be traced  back  to  Peters’  earlier stint as  Foreign Minister  when  he  pushed hard  for  it,  despite the  then  strong focus of   widening  diplomatic initiatives in  Asia.

Some  say he’s  had   a  bit  of  fixation  with the Nordic  countries which – although   part of  Europe  – succeed  in   preserving  an  essentially   Scandinavian   flavour in  their international policies.

Peters will hold talks with Foreign Minister counterparts in each country to discuss a range of geo-political issues, areas of mutual cooperation, and trade opportunities. He will be the first NZ Foreign Minister to make an official visit to Iceland.

As part of his programme, Peters will deliver speeches in Oslo and Copenhagen to international affairs institutes. The Minister will also lay a wreath at the Norwegian Memorial for the 2011 terrorist attack.

Peters, who  celebrated  his  74th birthday   on  April 11,  is displaying  a  stamina    which has   astonished  those  who  believed  he  might be  showing    signs    of  fatigue,  halfway  through  the  election cycle.

After   what  party  stalwarts   see  as  a  personal  triumph   for Peters in killing off  Labour’s   capital gains tax policy,  the  NZ First  leader’s  appetite  for  life in the Beehive,  however  arduous it is,  appears undiminished.

It  certainly  makes   speculation about Shane  Jones  taking  over  as  leader   a  bit of political  moonshine.

One thought on “Check out Peters’ stamina and Nordic travel plans before conjecturing on his political future

  1. Given the state of our country’s problems created by the adoption on the Neoliberal economic policies in 1984…
    And the need to bring 1/3 of our population up out of poverty.
    It is a pity his visit is not for the purpose of studying the Nordic economic policies , in order to consider which ones might be able to be successfully applied here in NZ.


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