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Sunday not out of the question: Speculation over end of coalition negotiations continues

Publish Date
Fri, 17 Nov 2023, 8:26am

Sunday not out of the question: Speculation over end of coalition negotiations continues

Publish Date
Fri, 17 Nov 2023, 8:26am

Questions remain around the incoming Government as coalition negotiations continue heading into the weekend, with week two set to conclude and still no complete agreements reached at this stage.

Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon, Winston Peters and David Seymour appear to be getting very close to a deal for forming the new Government.

Talks continued into the night in central Auckland and are set to resume today. Luxon and Peters described the meetings as professional but robust.

According to Jason Walls, Newstalk ZB's political editor, the prospect of seeing an announcement made on Sunday wasn't out of the question and all parties were clearly getting down to the business end of the deal.

"We had parties coming out this morning, saying they are working on some policy and they're working on Cabinet positions and portfolios and whatnot," Walls told the Mike Hosking Breakfast.

"You really leave those things until the end - so I wouldn't be surprised if we had a deal on Sunday, but then I wouldn't be surprised if something happened last minute."

Walls said there had been plenty of rumouring, the media wondering what was going on behind closed doors with nobody within the parties answering questions.

"Actually, what we had - David Seymour was often the one fronting up in front of the press," said Walls.

However, he noted yesterday was a change in tactics when Luxon fronted up to the media and answered questions on negotiations for almost eight minutes. It was a move that suggested to those outside discussions they didn't need to know every single detail.

"[It was] interesting to see the tactics change there and we're likely to see the same thing happen this morning with a bit more commentary from Luxon," said Walls.

Hosking suggested there would be confirmation over the weekend that the new Government was set to go and Tuesday would be when the official announcements would begin.

The idea "kind of tracks", Walls said, when he considered the party leaders wanted to be back in Wellington on Tuesday.

He believes more will be revealed in the next two days.

"Then we'll get some whispers and then some official word that it's happened, we'll all be ushered down to Wellington and we can stop sleeping in hotels and get on with it."

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