Jacinda Ardern has praised the political wisdom of Winston Peters, who she called a “reservoir of knowledge”, but she refused to write his political obituary despite NZ First’s recently dire poll results.
The Prime Minister was asked what she admired about her deputy of the last three years, prompting a moment of contemplation from Ardern.
“Oh, he has a lot of wisdom. I mean you can't be in politics for that period of time without being a reservoir of knowledge and having a really good understanding of what has worked and hasn't worked in a political environment in the past,” she said.
Ardern said her coalition had taken advantage of the 75-year-old’s wisdom.
“That's something we made use over the past three years,” she said.
Ardern, 35 years Peters’ junior, refused to speculate on the political future of the NZ First leader.
"I'm not going to write anyone's political obituary before we have an election,” she said.
“Let's wait until polling day and if those reflections are required, then that's the time for them.”
The 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll nine days out from the election had NZ First at just two per cent, well short of the five per cent threshold.
National leader Judith Collins also offered some praise for Peters, saying his longevity in politics "shouldn't be underestimated".
"I don't think it should be disrespected," Collins said.