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It’s like a Lionel Ritchie song, but finally Jacinda Ardern and Bill English have had a chat with Winston:

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has called Winston Peters and they have agreed to “catch up” later in the week.

A spokesman for Ardern confirmed the call on Monday morning soon after the NZ First leader returned Bill English’s call, which he had missed during the weekend.

“This morning I spoke with NZ First Leader, Winston Peters. We will look to hold a meeting between our respective teams later this week, while we wait for special votes to be counted,” Ardern said in a statement.

“Special votes remain an important part of the process for the Labour Party with more than 380,000 votes yet to be counted,” she said.

“In the meantime, we’ll continue to prepare ourselves for coalition negotiations.” .

The NZ First leader, who currently holds the kingmaker position, didn’t answer English’s first attempt at a direct conversation.

Peters said English left a voicemail suggesting the two talk this week and “as one would expect”, he had already returned English’s call.

Preliminary talks would start this week when arrangements suitable to both parties were concluded, Peters said.

No one wants to commit to anything, rather sensibly, until the special votes are counted.

If the left wing picks up two that changes the dynamics. But if National picks up just one, and there is a better than even chance that they will, then options for Winston Peters diminish significantly.

That scenario also makes life very difficult for Jacinda Ardern too. If National picks up a seat she will have effectively lost the election.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.