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Winston Peters predicts Simon Bridges won't last the year as National leader - 'He's got no cut through'

The new political battlelines for 2019 were drawn at Ratana today, with MPs predicting what the year holds for politics. 

It was not a good ending to 2018 for the Government with the Karel Sroubek incident, or for the National Party when Jami-Lee Ross went rogue.

The Deputy Prime Minister made a jab at National Party leader Simon Bridges, calling him "just not original" and said "he's got no cut through", when asked what his political predictions for the National Party. 

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    Mr Peters was also asked about keeping promises in light of KiwiBuild. Source: 1 NEWS

    "I think the same thing will go on, [National will] under perform in Parliament, [the media will] over exaggerate how good they are, when they're not. 

    When asked if he thought Simon Bridges would still be leader at the end 2019, Mr Peters said he could not see him make it to the end of the year. 

    However, Mr Bridges said 2019 would be a year the Government's "chickens come home to roost". 

    "The big talk, whether it's been on housing as we've seen in the last few days, on poverty, on a bunch of things won't live up to the reality."

    To Mr Peter's prediction that he would not be leader at the end of the year, Mr Bridges said he knows "it's going to be a strong year for National outlaying our plans for New Zealand"

    Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, who last year came under fire over the Karel Sroubek saga, told 1 NEWS he thought it would be a "strong year in Government".

    "It's a challenge being the leader of the Opposition, it's a challenge being in Opposition, most of us have been there."

    Mr Lees-Galloway was asked if the Government would keep its promises in 2019, after the KiwiBuild target looks to be 700 under with only 300 homes predicted to be built by July.

    "I think what people are seeing is a cohesive Government, every party is working well together, delivering on the promises that we made," he said.

    National's Judith Collins predicted the year to be "taxing and very testing at times" in terms of the relationship between the Green Party and NZ First. 

    Ratana

    Politicians are at the small town near Whanganui to celebrate the Ratana Movement and kick off the political year.

    The Prime Minister's absence was noted today, with Labour having been critical of Sir John Key when he did not attend Ratana. 

    Deputy Labour leader Kelvin Davis said Ms Ardern would be disappointed she could not attend, "but she's overseas representing us and doing what Prime Ministers have to do".

    Ms Ardern has been in Europe advocating for a free trade agreement with Britain, and is now in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.

    "Ultimately Davos is political tourism," Mr Bridges said.

    "It's here where the government needs to be making real progress."

    The Ratana movement formed a formal alliance with the Labour Party when Michael Joseph Savage was leader.  

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      Winston Peters and Simon Bridges have already butted heads as the political year kicks off. Source: 1 NEWS


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