Jacinda Ardern says Winston Peters leaves a 'huge legacy' in NZ politics

Jacinda Ardern has praised the work of Winston Peters, whose political career came to abrupt end as New Zealand First sunk below the party threshold.

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The Labour Party Leader says her former deputy has left a “huge legacy” in his time in politics. Source: 1 NEWS

After 36 years in New Zealand politics, the Kingmaker is out of parliament once more and now with an uncertain future as he works to rebuild NZ First, with the party's hopes of Shane Jones winning the Northland seat squashed.  

Ardern praised the 75-year-old's dedication, saying Peters had created a "huge legacy" in New Zealand politics for generations to come. 

"I think he's left a huge legacy, and I absolutely believe that, and regardless of whether or not New Zealanders have voted for him in the past or their view on him. I think most of us would agree." 

At this stage, Ardern says she's given no thought to offering Peters a diplomatic position or any other offical role beyond his place in politics. 

"I've given no such consideration to that at this stage... we're only a matter of hours from him having that outcome. I think now would be the time we pay homage to the role he's played in New Zealand politics." 

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The NZ First leader has addressed a small crowd of supporters at the Duke of Marlborough in Russell. Source: 1 NEWS

NZ First had just 2.7 per cent of the vote from last night's result, with Jones winning only 11.5 per cent of the vote in Northland. 

Jones told 1 NEWS earlier today that NZ First was taking time to absorb what last night's crushing blow meant before regrouping and making plans for the next three years.