Face of the Day

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says there’s a lot of pressure on NZ First leader Winston Peters, but he’s always been clear of his intentions to go with either Labour or National.

Ms Ardern told Duncan Garner on the AM Show this morning she rang the NZ First leader yesterday, but she wouldn’t be drawn on details around the conversation aside from saying it was organisational.

“I gave him a call to have a chat about that early meeting. We lined up a call and had a call, and the real work will start after the specials on Saturday,” she told the show.

She said the special votes, of which there are around 380,000, were important to both Labour and the Green Party.

Ms Ardern said Labour needed to be respectful of the votes both the Green Party and NZ First brought in and said Labour had started preliminary negotiations with the Greens.

Ms Ardern said the idea the Greens could be on the cross benches is “unfair” but wouldn’t say whether the Greens would be offered ministerial responsibilities.

All parties were working as quickly as they could, and both Labour and NZ First knew they had a huge responsibility to bring a stable coalition to New Zealand. That is what they would work towards.

“We are making sure we take this process incredibly seriously,” she said.

Even the politicians are trying to calm the waters with the media and the public as they don’t want Winston turned into some kind of ogre that’s holding everyone to ransom.

The idea that Winston may actually choose to sit on the cross benches, something this blog raised a month ago, is starting to sink in.

The argument to the New Zealand public is simple:   When Labour/Green and National have about the same support, it would make no sense to pick a side.  NZ First will provide its support to any side on a per-policy basis.

Upside:  Good policy that may have languished in opposition gets a chance to get through.   Downside:  Winston gets to pick what good policy means.

 

– Newshub


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