New Zealand first party Leader Winston peters has been appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, elevating the veteran protectionist politician into two of the country’s most powerful positions.
Peters delivered government to the labour party through a coalition deal after a closely fought election last month failed to result in a majority for the governing national or labour parties.
Peters was foreign minister in a Labour-led government in 2005, during which time he became among a handful of western politicians to visit north Korea.
While he was expected to be offered the deputy role after obtaining the balance of power, his appointment as foreign minister was unexpected.
Many of Labour and New Zealand first’s policies during the campaign drew on voter concerns that immigration and foreign buyers of local homes were putting too much pressure on infrastructure and house prices.