Winston Peters challenges David Seymour on might, not policy

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Two political party leaders – nine weeks from the election – have become tangled in a slanging match on Twitter.

Winston Peters and David Seymour.

Winston Peters and David Seymour. Photo: RNZ

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters hit out after ACT Party leader David Seymour targeted Peters’ age and anti-immigration position in a tweet.

Peters fired back, promising that if the two men got in the boxing ring, Seymour would end up in an ambulance.

Yesterday, Peters promised an immigration reset at his campaign launch in Auckland.

He committed to a cap of 15,000 immigrants – only highly-skilled workers – a year, if re-elected.

His comments gave away little about any possible coalition, attacking National and Labour in equal measure, but said his party in any coalition government would demand the immigration portfolio.

Today, Seymour took a dig at 75-year-old Peters.

“Winston Peters’ swansong promise to slash immigration is tragic. Peters himself will soon be retired and will require a care worker to help him get dressed and go for a walk. He’ll discover that such facilities can’t function without migrant workers,” Seymour said in a tweet.

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Peters clapped back saying: “I’ve spent much of my career respecting and working for retirees. You seem to want to euthanise them. As for your nasty comments about my physical – I reckon you’d last 10 seconds in the ring with me.

“There’d be three hits – you hitting me, me hitting you, and the ambulance hitting 100. Thank your lucky stars I’m not into physical violence.”

And right after Seymour fired back: “Someone’s been hit where it hurts – with the truth. P.S. Thank you for voting for the End of Life Choice Act. And there’s no shame in being retired. I hope you enjoy it.”

Seymour’s End of Life Choice member’s bill allows terminally ill adults to request a medically-assisted death. It will go to a referendum this election and may or may not become law next year.

In June, Peters had an unexpected surgery after experiencing food poisoning symptoms and dehydration.

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Peters is one of the longest-serving MPs with more than 33 years in Parliament, followed closely by Speaker Trevor Mallard who has been in the House for more than 30 years.

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