Book review: WINSTON


Ian Wishart has proven himself to be a great political analyst over the years, bragging such titles as The Great Divide: The story of New Zealand and its treaty, Lawyers Guns and Money, and Absolute Power, a biography of the Helen Clark years. Ian Wishart is a socially conservative Christian man, and once again his views on society sneak through with a brief spat at New Zealand’s abortion rate. However, he has also proven his political worth in his 2012 edition Daylight Robbery, the story of the first four years of John Key’s National-led government.

His latest title, WINSTON, is at times a real page-turner. Detailing his years as a youth, patrolling the Northland countryside alongside his Maori father and Scottish mother, and many siblings. What many people might not have known is Peters’ past as a school teacher in Te Atatu, west Auckland, where allegedly the tough-talking fearless politicians was once reduced to tears in front of a classroom of rowdy tweens.

50 years on, and you must ask yourself what has changed. Winston Peters stands front-facing a classroom of screeching imbecilic spoiled brats, known by some as the hounrable representatives of the National Party government. But after nearly spending four straight decades in parliament, Winston has built a new identity and become somewhat of a new man. Winston, perhaps having a flashback, labels his opponents ‘schoolboy’ and ‘sunshine’ as if he were back in that West Auckland classroom.

After reading this biography I have built a new found appreciation for this iconic New Zealander. A warrior in his own right, a stubborn nationalist and a portrait of the classic pre-neoliberalism politician.

Well worth a read for those interested in our political past, which Winston has certainly lived and breathed.


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