Playing the field: Peters to meet Labour this week

NZ Herald staff,
Publish Date
Monday, 2 October 2017, 12:20PM

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has spoken to NZ First leader Winston Peters and agreed to meet later in the week.

It is understood Ardern rang Peters this morning. It comes after Peters spoke to National leader Bill English earlier this morning, returning English's call to him on Sunday.

Peters has confirmed that preliminary talks between National and NZ First will kick off this week.

The dialogue came after Peters was unable to answer English's call at the weekend.

"Preliminary talks will proceed this week when arrangements suitable to both parties are concluded," Peters said.

"New Zealand First expects the same will occur if and when other parties make contact."

English revealed this morning that he had personally tried to call Peters yesterday but did not hear back.

Peters said reports he had refused to take English's call were wrong and he would call English back soon: "Wouldn't that be the courteous thing to do?"

Asked if he was up north in Whananaki without cellphone coverage he said yes. He had not got the message until late last night.

Earlier today, in his regular round of Monday morning interviews, English revealed he had tried to contact Peters and at several times stressed his view that Peters was leaving it late to begin talks.

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