Deal between National, ACT, NZ First could be signed on Thursday

2 minutes read
Posted 22 November, 2023
Screenshot 2023 11 22 095926

Photo: RNZ

Jane Patterson, RNZ Political Editor 

Government talks are now at the point where a deal between National, ACT and New Zealand First could be signed as early as tomorrow.

As well as tough negotiations, National leader Chris Luxon may have to contend with the travel disruption caused by low visibility in Wellington in the last few days, in order to get to the capital for the big unveiling.

The three parties trying to form a coalition had "done the policy work first and foremost", Luxon said this week.

"All three parties have made trade-offs along the way and that will be revealed when we make our final announcement, from our point of view all parties are getting the major parts of their agenda away."

There were also many areas of overlap, Luxon said, with "all three parties...very determined to grow the economy, make it more productive, make sure that we restore law and order, deliver better public services and strengthen democracy".

Luxon said National shared the two deals with ACT and New Zealand First on Sunday night, another key step in the process. The leaders of those two parties, David Seymour and Winston Peters respectively, have also been in close communication, meeting and talking on a regular basis.

In the last 24 hours, the three parties have also agreed how they will work together in Cabinet and how to handle potential disagreements.

The final matter is the allocation of ministerial positions, including deputy prime minister.

Luxon has to make a call on who gets the role of deputy prime minister, between his deputy leader Nicola Willis and the leaders of ACT and New Zealand First.

* National MPs heading to Wellington as coalition talks in final stages

David Seymour yesterday made a public pitch for it, arguing that - as the second largest party - there's a case for ACT to get it. He said the same proportionality argument could be applied to the number of ministerial positions given to his party within the new executive.

Winston Peters has been making general comments to reporters outside the meeting venues through the week about progress of the talks, while noting the ongoing need for confidentiality.

Nicola Willis will get the finance portfolio, and that would be another area ACT and New Zealand First will be looking for direct involvement, perhaps through some associate positions.

At this stage many of the senior National Party team remain in Auckland, with no face to face meetings scheduled as yet.

Once an agreement has been reached, the proposed deal will be sent to the party's boards for final approval.


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