Peters launches into Nats' candidate choice

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 08/05/2014
winston peters
NICOLE GOURLEY
GREY EMINENCE: NZ First leader Winston Peters speaks at the Grey Power annual meeting being held in Invercargill this week.

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NZ First leader Winston Peters took a swipe at National's choice for its Clutha Southland candidate, insinuating he is too young for the job.

Peters spoke at the Grey Power annual meeting in Invercargill yesterday, using it as a platform to strike out at National's Judith Collins' debacle, some politicians' desire to raise the pension age and the new National candidate for the Clutha Southland electorate.

National announced last month that 24-year-old Todd Barclay was its new candidate to stand in the seat, formerly held by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English.

Peters said the National party was in crisis, not renewal, and putting a 24-year-old up as a candidate for a seat in Southland showed that.

"Now with the greatest of respect to those of you from the deep south, a 24-year-old who is wet behind the ears and works for a tobacco company is not renewal."

After the meeting, Peters said Southland voters needed to vote for the best commercial interests of Southland.

"Too many people down here put their pride and prejudice before their commercial interests."

Barclay and English could not be contacted yesterday. When Barclay was announced, as the candidate, English said he would be "fantastic". "He comes from good working rural stock ... what he lacks in years, he makes up in his willingness to learn and his ability to learn fast."

Grey Power is hosting a range of political speakers this week, with Labour leader David Cunliffe speaking on the final day today.

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