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All very well waiting for the NZ First board to say “Go!”, but that doesn’t mean anything.  The other parties also need to ratify the proposed plan.

Labour Party President Nigel Howarth, who leads the party’s 20-person council, said he was on stand-by for when the call came.

That call would be a directive from Jacinda Ardern to mobilise the council, which included Howarth, Ardern, deputy Labour leader Kelvin Davis, general secretary Andrew Kirton, as well as representatives from a range of communities.

Howarth said he did not know when that call would come, and whether the agreement in question would be taken to the council to sign off on before Peters and his board made its final decision (pre-emptively), or after NZ First had made a decision.

That process and timing, which included “who says what to whom, when”, was something that would have been worked out confidentially by the core negotiating teams, he said.

However, once that call came, Howarth expected to be able to get the 20 people together for a teleconference within six hours.

He then expected the process of approving a deal to take no more than an hour.

Labour, like National and the Greens, were largely at the whim of NZ First and how long it took them to make a decision.

What about National?  

National’s president Peter Goodfellow refused to answer questions on the process and expected timeline, referring all questions to Bill English’s office.

The National Party leader’s office provided a brief statement: “Once the leaders have agreed on a deal it will then have to be approved by the National Party board and caucus. There is no time frame set for that at this stage.”

According to its website, National’s board consists of only nine members, including English and Goodfellow. That would surely make the process much swifter for National, than it was for other parties.

National would not elaborate further on how the board and caucus would meet, how long it would take, or what would happen after that.

However, it’s expected they would also want to move swiftly.

And those hippycrites?

The Green Party’s process was slightly more complicated owing to the number of people involved.

The party was required to call its 150 delegates together to approve any agreement involving the Greens.

Leader James Shaw has said the party had a standing teleconference booking for all the members every evening at 6pm since Wednesday.

A party spokesman said the preference was to hold the meeting outside of work hours, but if they urgently needed to convene the delegates to sign off a deal, they could.

Again, it was unclear whether the Greens would take a prospective deal to its membership to approve and then wait to see whether NZ First decided to choose a Labour-Green-NZ First government, or whether that meeting would take place after Peters and his party made their decision.

Other parties’ meetings with boards, councils and delegates was seen as more of a formality to sign off on what the leader had decided. But the Green Party’s meeting was expected to involve robust discussion, the spokesman said.

Once the delegates convened, in which was technically a special general meeting of the party, Shaw would present and explain what’s on offer to the party.

“They will want to explain in as much detail as possible, I’d imagine. It’s not just a five-minute thing.”

A separate caucus meeting wasn’t required to approve any deal.

The core negotiating team of Shaw, party “musterer” and MP Eugenie Sage, acting chief of staff Tory Whanau, party co-convenor Debs Martin, and party campaign committee member Andrew Campbell, had been in constant contact with the larger negotiation consultation group and the caucus.

If the people have done their jobs properly, it will be a matter of rubber stamping as there should be no surprises by the time the proposal is presented to the various party’s controlling entities.

Even so.  I might be in the minority, but I can’t wait for someone to go rogue and make a big mess of it.


– Laura Walters, 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.

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