A timeline of Winston Peters' political career:
1975 election - Winston Peters stands unsuccessfully for the National party in the Northern Maori electorate seat.
1978 election - Peters stands for National again for the seat of Hunua and is successful after having the election night result overturned in the High Court.
1981 election - Peters loses his seat.
1984 election - Peters stands again, this time in the Tauranga electorate, and wins.
1987 election - Peters is elevated to National's front bench.
1990 election - Peters becomes the National government's Minister of Maori Affairs.
1991 - Prime Minister Jim Bolger sacks Peters from Cabinet.
1993 election - Peters resigns from the National party and from parliament. A by-election is held in Tauranga before the general election, which Peters wins as an independent. Peters sets up his New Zealand First party and holds on to the Tauranga seat.
1996 election - New Zealand First wins 17 seats under MMP. Peters enters a coalition with National after lengthy negotiations.
1998 - Prime Minister Jenny Shipley sacks Peters from Cabinet, leading him to break off the coalition.
1999 election - New Zealand First fails to reach the 5% threshold, but Peters wins the Tauranga electorate.
2002 election - New Zealand First wins 10% of the vote.
2005 election - New Zealand First gains seven seats, however, Peters loses the Tauranga electorate to National's Bob Clarkson. Peters becomes Minister of Foreign Affairs in Helen Clark's Labour-led government.
2008 - Peters stands down as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
2008 election - Peters is bundled out of parliament, after failing to win the Tauranga electorate and New Zealand First's failure to reach the 5% threshold.