National and Act are understood to be approaching a deal but David Seymour is still seemingly yet to speak with New Zealand First’s Winston Peters as the country awaits its next government to be formed.
National’s Christopher Luxon and Seymour have spoken throughout the weeks following October 14 and are understood to have made good progress towards a position where the two parties could outline a deal on paper.
However, it hasn’t had input from NZ First as Seymour and Peters haven’t met. Peters stated on Sunday he’d believed earlier contact from Seymour was “fake”.
Peters and the rest of the party’s caucus were in Wellington yesterday ahead of a caucus meeting today .
Landing at Wellington airport yesterday, Peters said nothing to waiting journalists as he strode through the airport lounge - similar to what he did a few days after election night during the initial stages of negotiation.
Several soon-to-be MPs arrived at the party’s base at the Treasury yesterday morning but were tight-lipped on how talks were progressing.
NZ First party president Julian Paul speaks at a party conference. Photo / Adam Pearse
Former MP Mark Patterson was asked by media about reports of a draft agreement between National and Act, to which he said: “We haven’t seen anything yet”.
Asked how the caucus was feeling, Patterson said: “About to find out”.
Jenny Marcroft, also a former NZ First MP, said it was “such a privilege and an honour” to be back in Parliament.
She wouldn’t comment on how coalition talks were going.
Neither would soon-to-be MP Jamie Arbuckle or party president Julian Paul.
NZ first leader Winston Peters in Wellington last month. Photo / Mark Mitchell
It has been reported Act had attempted, unsuccessfully, to contact NZ First during the three-week period between October 14 and Friday when the final vote count was released.
Speaking on Sunday in Pukekohe for the launch of their Port Waikato byelection campaign with candidate Casey Costello, Peters said a meeting with Seymour would happen soon, but he would not say when.
Seymour told the Herald that Peters’ comments about a meeting was news to him, although he added he didn’t want the miscommunication “sideshow” to become the main story.
“There may be some crossed wires, but I am more interested in the details.”
He said he had personally contacted Peters, along with working through his staff, but they had not received any response.
Seymour, meanwhile, added he didn’t feel the typically frosty relationship between the two politicians had changed, although he believed they could put that aside to form a “strong and stable” government together with National.
Adam Pearse is a political reporter in the NZ Herald Press Gallery team, based at Parliament. He has worked for NZME since 2018, covering sport and health for the Northern Advocate in Whangārei before moving to the Herald in Auckland, covering Covid-19 and crime.
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