Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon says he’s keen to know the results of special votes so he can get on with the task of forming a government.
“It’s incredibly frustrating. We’re doing everything we can.
“The bottom line is we get clarity tomorrow.”
He is speaking this afternoon to the media on the eve of the final election result being known.
Luxon said he hadn’t thought about what he’d be doing tomorrow evening, saying he would be digesting the final results.
He would look to progress arrangements as quickly as possible but couldn’t give reporters a date on when a government could be formed.
Luxon restated his view that the Electoral Commission should count special votes quicker. He also restated his position that he would not talk about how negotiations were going, except to say all party leaders wanted to get through the process quickly.
Luxon would be in Wellington tomorrow when the final count comes in.
On the legality of enforcing gang members to cover face tattoos with make-up, Luxon said National’s focus was on gang patches that were worn which is something that the police would enforce.
“It’s lovely that they want to engage in this process,” Luxon said when asked about the Mongrel Mob seeking legal advice about National’s policy. He said gang members were afforded rights as New Zealanders which they were not honouring.
Luxon said he would love to go to the Pacific Islands Forum but said the reality of special votes coming in on Friday meant it was unlikely he would go.
He said former foreign minister Gerry Brownlee would go as National representative alongside current Deputy PM Carmel Sepuloni.
National Party leader and Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon with professor Damon Salesa from AUT at the Millennium institute in Albany. Photo / Dean Purcell
He appeared this afternoon on Auckland’s North Shore alongside local National MP-elects and will take questions on the progress of coalition negotiations with Act and New Zealand First.
Since October 14′s preliminary result indicated National and Act may need NZ First to form a government, Luxon and other National candidates have been very tight-lipped on how negotiations were going.
Luxon has publicly stated that he was speaking to both Act leader David Seymour and NZ First leader Winston Peters. It hasn’t been confirmed whether Seymour and Peters have spoken directly.
1News last week reported Luxon and wife Amanda had dinner with Peters at his Auckland home.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Speaking to The Platform’s Sean Plunket in his only long-form interview after October 14, Peters said he was confident a new government could be formed more quickly than pundits were predicting after special votes were counted.
“I think it can be done much more quickly than people think,” Peters said.
“This can be done with far greater speed if people get into the room and don’t muck around.”
He referenced the importance of New Zealand’s attendance at the Pacific Islands Forum, which starts on November 6 in the Cook Islands, and the Apec Leaders’ Summit in the United States shortly after.
“You might think that that’s not important, but it is for a country like New Zealand because a small country like ours needs to be there in some circumstances, making sure that we’ve got representation.”
Peters, a former Foreign Minister, laughed away Plunket’s question as to whether he’d like to attend the events as Foreign Minister, saying they were engagements Luxon as the next Prime Minister would be interested in attending.
Like Luxon, Peters was similarly guarded when questioned by Plunket, indicating that it had been agreed the interview would not be focused on details of negotiations.
“There’s a proscription on this matter at the moment because we’re all waiting around for the third of November to know exactly what it is we’re dealing with,” he said.
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 NZ Herald in Auckland, covering Covid-19 and crime.
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