Act leader David Seymour has arrived in Wellington for his next round of talks as National takes time out to consider NZ First’s list of wishes.
Seymour came back to Wellington today, saying he was returning for more talks with National, but as yet had no meeting set up with NZ First leader Winston Peters.
It is understood National’s first round with NZ First wrapped up yesterday, and National had gone to consider the requests in it. As yet, there is no set time for a future round of talks. Peters and the rest of the negotiating team are waiting in Wellington to be invited back to the table.
It is expected that once National has reached its preferred deals with each side, National will consult with the other party about whether they will agree to support the measures in them.
That has not yet happened: NZ First and Act remain blind to the details of the other’s agreement requests. Today’s talks with Act are expected to canvass the extent to which the talks with NZ First may have affected Act’s own wishlist, and possibly some of what NZ First has asked for.
Seymour and Peters are also expected to meet at some point, although no meeting has yet been set. Seymour confirmed he had not yet heard from Peters himself.
Act Party leader David Seymour is back in the capital. Photo / Jason Oxenham
The chiefs of staff - Andrew Ketels for Seymour and Darroch Ball for Peters - had met.
There is also some consideration being given to Act and NZ First clubbing together to try to push National’s hand on issues they agree on, such as co-governance.
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Meanwhile, Peters has apparently eased his refusal to speak to most media after earlier only giving interviews to The Platform and Waatea News.
NZ First’s Shane Jones has so far only given interviews to Māori media, in te reo Māori.
Speaking to the Herald today, Peters was positive when asked to describe how negotiations were faring.
“They’re going very well.”
He reiterated his commitment not to discuss finer details publicly.
“How can I possibly have a good faith discussion with others if I’m talking out about what I’m doing?
“There’s no experience, there’s no common sense, there’s no rationale, there’s no logic in doing that sort of thing.”
NZ First leader Winston Peters says negotiations are going very well. Photo / NZME
That also applied to the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Peters, as a former Foreign Affairs Minister and someone tipped to potentially take the role again, wouldn’t give his view on whether he supported calls for a ceasefire.
“At this point in time, I’m not saying anything about it for the most obvious reasons.
“Well, I just told you where negotiations form a new government, the holding position is where it is and it just makes common sense.”
NZ First MP Mark Patterson told The Platform earlier this week the party was arranging its negotiation team.
Peters initially said, “My whole caucus is on my team”, but wouldn’t specify who attended talks with National.
“I’m not saying who I take to the meeting, but you want to know is my team in the loop? They’re always in the loop.”
Asked when he might speak in person with Act leader David Seymour, Peters said: “Next question.”
Asked if he was staying in Wellington through the weekend, he said: “I’m not saying anything at all.”
However, Peters did indicate his desire to leave the capital in an impromptu media stand-up today when he said, “We are not wasting time here. Some of us would like to get back home”, Newshub reported.
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