Winston Peters

1945 -

Winston Peters was born in Whangarei and was educated at Whangarei Boys’ High School and Dargaville High School. He has worked as a primary and secondary school teacher and as a barrister and solicitor for Russell McVeagh Partners from 1974-78. He was Captain of Auckland Māori Rugby Team. Peters has a B.A. majoring in history and political studies, LLB (Auckland) and Dipl Tchg. He became a Young National in 1968 and was Dominion Councillor from 1976-78. He was the Northern Māori electorate chairman from 1976-77, Hunua electorate from 1977-78, candidate for Northern Māori in 1975, and Dominion Councillor from 1976-78. Peters won the Hunua Seat in 1978 and lost it in 1981. He established a Law Practice in Howick from 1982-84. In 1984 he became National Party Member for Tauranga. Peters was Minister of Māori Affairs following the 1990 election and developed the Kawatea report in March 1991. In 1993 he resigned from the National Party and established NZ First Party on 18 July 1993. He is member of the advisory committee on Polynesians and the law, vice-patron of Auckland branch of I.H.C and Member of Parliament for Tauranga. As a result of the 1996 election he became part of the Coalition Government with National Party and New Zealand First and became Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer in the first MMP Coalition Government.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence from Hon Winston Peters 2 Dec. 1992.
  • "National Māori Candidates." Tu Tangata 3 (1981): 8.
  • New Zealand Parliament Who’s Who 1996. Comp. Radio New Zealand. Welington, N.Z.: Radio New Zealand, c. 1996. 25.


  • "The Future of Employment in Aotearoa." Te Iwi o Aotearoa 7 (Mar 1988): 23.
  • Peters writes of the devastating toll of unemployment on the Māori, decries the ACCESS and REAC programmes, calls for ‘a return to publicly financed job creation programmes’ and special training programmes at polytechnics and discusses the need to remind Māori parents of the importance of education.
  • "Education - The Key to Race Relations." Te Iwi o Aotearoa 9 (May 1988): 7.
  • An assertion of the importance of education and the implications which follow ‘educational failures’.
  • ‘"Principles for Crown Action on the Treaty of Waitangi"...Winston Peters Analyses.’ Te Iwi o Aotearoa 23 (July 1989): 7.
  • Peters critiques the Governmental 14-page document ‘Principles for Crown Action on the Treaty of Waitangi’, which was presented to the public in July 1989. Peters argues that the spirit of Article 3 of the Treaty is the section primarily not observed and he comments on the role of the Waitangi Tribunal which he asserts should ‘sift and assess the facts, and weigh the evidence. But not to recommend - or as is the case with SOEs...decide upon a course of action that is mandatory for government to follow - with no appeal rights.’


  • "National Māori Candidates." Tu Tangata 3 (1981): 8-9.