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Winston Peters' mother dies

Published: 3:15PM Friday July 18, 2008 Source: ONE News

The mother of veteran politician Winston Peters has died at the age of 96. 
Joan Peters' death on Friday fell on the 15th anniversary of the party he created and just ahead of New Zealand First's election year conference this weekend.
She has always been a big campaigner for her son and she helped inspire a 30-year political career. 

"She was an incredible inspiration to all of us really. She taught us the value of sacrifice and hard work," says Peters.

Joan Peters, the mother of 11, was the first to receive the Gold Card for superannuitants two years ago.

"I haven't got time to stop and think about it but they are great memories and it's just an incredibly sad time," says Peters.

Her death comes on New Zealand first's 15th birthday. Winston Peters formed the party in 1993 after his split from National.

"It was a very difficult time and we got it up and going and I think here for the long haul now," he says.

And on Saturday, he's returning to the place it was launched, Auckland's Alexandra Park, for the party's election year conference. 

Peters is under pressure. He has spent the week dampening down allegations of a donation from billionaire Owen Glenn.

"The plain fact is I was asked a question I have had it reviewed and it turned out the answer is as I gave it. I can't do more than that," Peters says.

Always the statesman, he was keen to fulfil his commitment to open a Mt Eden retirement home on Friday, impressing the crowd.

He was pressing the flesh but on Saturday he's focused on campaigning and how to ensure his party survives this election so it can celebrate another anniversary.

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