More media guesswork as to what is being talked about behind closed coalition talk doors

The inclusion of David Parker in Labour’s negotiating team for day two of talks with NZ First suggests this was a “clearing the decks” day.

Parker’s presence suggests the talks were focusing on climate change, the environment and water. Winston Peters’ position on Labour’s contentious water tax was telegraphed loud and clear on the campaign trail.

It suggests nothing of the sort of course.  The Labour team are already very light on experienced negotiators, so the inclusion of Parker can mean all sorts of things.  

Peters wanted the tax scrapped. This is probably not the thing Labour will die in a ditch for. In fact, given how much stick Labour took over the tax Peters may even be doing it a favour.

NZ First offers Labour a way to exit the tax gracefully without leaving too much burning rubber.

This is one issue on which the Greens and NZ First can find common ground. It is not the only one – they may come from very different places philosophically, but there are areas of overlap on monetary policy, foreign ownership, asset sales, globalisation, free market policies – they even have a similar target for a zero carbon economy.

The media will not give up on the idea that a Green/NZ First romance is on the cards if they would just compare policies and ignore the MPs.

But the Greens are not at the negotiating table with NZ First and Peters has made it clear they won’t be.

That could either mean something, or it could be nothing. But history suggests it is something.

Some top shelf political analysis there.

Let me help you out.  Peters LOATHES the Greens.  There will be no Labour/Green/NZ First coalition.  At absolute best, the Greens will be asked for Confidence and Supply, sit outside of government, and get one or two policy concessions.

There is enough bad blood between NZ First and the Greens to suggest that Peters will want guarantees not just of their support on confidence and supply but on any elements of NZ First’s agenda agreed to in the negotiations.

But those guarantees will have to be cast iron and even that may not be enough. It was not that long ago, after all, that a former Green MP, Barry Coates, publicly stated that the party would rather force a new election than accept a Labour-NZ First government.

There will be no left leaning government propped up by Winston Peters.


– Stacey Kirk, Stuff

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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.