Controversy continues to whirl around him, but New Zealand First leader Winston Peters will today be in the familiar role of kingmaker as the Government awaits his decision on whether or not his party will support its emissions trading scheme.
The Green Party yesterday announced its support, leaving NZ First to announce what concessions it has wrung from the Government in return for its backing.
Without the support of the seven NZ First MPs, along with the six Greens, the legislation cannot proceed.
Prime Minister Helen Clark, who has made no secret that this is cornerstone legislation for her, yesterday said talks with Mr Peters had been positive.
"I never want to pre-empt positions that parties may take. But he and his party have been very constructively engaged with us for a long period of time around the scheme, so we are just carrying on those talks."
Now this puts Clark in a very interesting position following yesterday's revelations in the House. She accepts Winston Peters's word because he is an "Honourable Member". She will accept the support of Peters's party to rush through the flawed and compromised ETS legislation which is so dear to her. But for how much longer can she afford to cut Peters as much slack as she has to date?
Helen Clark is already tainted by her support of Peters. Today he faces not only a further Privileges Committee hearing, but doubtless there will be more to come when the House resumes at 2pm. At times yesterday, he looked like a condemned man.
This, of course, is the reality of MMP politics. The tail regularly wags the dog. Which seems to be an appropriate analogy in this case - the ETS legislation is a dog, and Parliament is going to once again pass important legislation while pressured for time. And if we carry the tail/dog analogy a step further and say that NZ First is the tail - whereabouts does the tail join the dog?