"Give me a second chance" is the wrong thing to say, Winston. This is your second chance mate. You blew your first chance when you were Treasurer, a job specifically invented for you. Now you're giving a bad name to Foreign Minister, an important role distorted to mean whatever you want it to mean. Bad mana.
The media and opposition feeding frenzy on Winston Peters will ease a bit once he does one thing; admit that NZ First are part of gum'mint. Sitting next to Labour in the House is a bit of a giveaway. Saying things to Stuff such as '[Peters] "can't wait to get home" to respond to attacks by National' and a quick look at NZ First's press releases entrenches this obvious fact.
Since the proclamation that the NZ First leader has formed a confidence and supply agreement with Labour on October 17th NZ First has had 18 press releases, compared with 34 for the same period last year. This year's post-election missives are all rather pussy compared with 2004's vitriol.
Here's one from Ron Mark in 2004 decrying the recruitment drive for Asian 111 emergency call centre staff. "The police move to recruit more Asians in their Auckland call centre confirms New Zealand First's repeated claims that Auckland is Asia's latest colony," said Mr Mark. New NZ First president Dail Jones laid down a nasty one on Labour's immigration policy: "This is very opened ended indeed and could apply to tens of millions of people."
Contrast that with the limp offerings in the last few months. Ron Mark and Winston attacking the Nats, Pita Paraone picks on a poacher, and Doug Woolerton demands clarity from the Minister of Agriculture. Just admit NZ First is part of a ruling coalition. Shut down the debate and move on, as Helen Clark might say.