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Winston Peters took to the stage in Paeroa for an impassioned 90-minute campaign speech. Photo: ALICE PARMINTER

Winston Peters shouts down ‘Aotearoa’ challenger in Paeroa

A public meeting held by political party NZ First’s leader Winston Peters was briefly interrupted by a member of the audience, who took offence to a statement from the long-term politician.
Mr Peters took to the stage in Paeroa’s War Memorial Hall on September 23. The public meeting was part of his New Zealand First election campaign tour.
Following an introduction by Coromandel NZ First candidate Caleb Ansell, Mr Peters spoke to the packed hall for 90 minutes on a variety of topics, including his party’s policies and campaign promises.

The crowd was mostly receptive to Mr Peters’ rhetoric, however, in speaking on NZ First’s commitment to “change all of the woke virtue-signalling names of every government department back to English”, Mr Peters stated “this country’s not called Aotearoa”.
The declaration drew ire from an audience member, who loudly protested the point until he was shouted down by the seasoned politician.
The audience member was later allowed to speak during question time at the end of the meeting, when he asked what Mr Peters would do to better the country for younger people.
The campaign speech focused mainly around the country as a whole, although Mr Peters did mention the Coromandel directly a couple of times, telling the audience “you’re being forgotten” while referencing the roads of national significance project.
Around 250 people turned up to hear Mr Peters speak. While the majority of the audience were silver-haired, there were a number of younger faces in attendance as well.
One audience member, NZ First party supporter Ed Sinnott, told The Profile he was from Australia’s Byron Bay.
As the owner of a property in Waiomu Bay he and his wife had travelled to New Zealand to journey with the campaigners.
“We’re seeing a lot of similarities of major parties not listening – we’re getting sick of that narrative over there [in Australia],” he said.