NZ First board will decide the next government, not Winston

Winston Peters says there will have to be “serious consensus” with the New Zealand First board before the party decides whether to go with National or with the Labour and Green parties.

Peters spoke with media following his team’s second meeting with National this evening.

Negotiation meetings will wrap up tomorrow night, and Peters said the meetings tomorrow will be the “most substantive” so far.

“I can’t answer the questions about what happens after that, because these talks may well determine that.”

When the talks have finished, the New Zealand First board will weigh up the two options, he said.

“We will go to the board with both options … You don’t want to be going to a vote in these matters. You want a serious consensus. If you don’t have a serious consensus, stay there until you get one. But who wants a 50/50 vote?”

Asked about what would be a consensus, he said: “We’d expect to have far higher than [75 per cent].”

“You’d need to assuage the concerns of anybody concerned about which way you’re going to go.”

A consensus would mean that everybody on the board would then be responsible for the decision, he said.

“Contrary to what you’ve been saying about Winston Peters making the decision, which is an outrage, actually … but I’ve never it done that way.”

To be picky, a consensus is, by definition, a 100% backing of an idea or proposal.  To go forward with some people still disagreeing comes under the heading of collective responsibility.

What’s interesting as a take-away is that NZ First are clearly split on which way to go, and Winston is going to have to do a good sales job to get his preferred option to become the NZ First option.

In the end, NZ First will choose the option that they think will set them up for the best chance at a good 2020 election result.  They will not want to be seen to be responsible for everything people consider to have gone wrong.

And to do that, they need to come up with a structure where it is clear what is a NZ First win (or loss) and what is the responsibility of the other coalition partner(s).

Given that the majority is less on the left, and it includes the Greens, the only practical way is to provide Confidence and Supply to National and duke out on an issue-by-issue basis.

Let’s see if Winston can get enough people on the board to see it that way.


– NZ Herald


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