Jacinda Ardern meets Greens leaders for first time since election

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 19 Oct 2020, 5:16PM
James Shaw with Jacinda Ardern. (Photo / NZ Herald)
James Shaw with Jacinda Ardern. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Jacinda Ardern meets Greens leaders for first time since election

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 19 Oct 2020, 5:16PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has finished her first meeting with Green Party leaders, after her landslide election win on Saturday night.

A spokesman for Ardern said the Prime Minister had spoken with the party's leadership this afternoon, but it was not a post-election negotiation conversation.

Rather, it was a general conversation about the election result and the timeframe for ongoing discussions between the two parties.

This comes after Ardern yesterday did not rule out working with the Greens during this term of Government.

She said the Government would be formed within the next two or three weeks.

"You know, and everyone will have seen, that I have been a consensus builder, but I also need to work with the mandate that Labour has been given as well, and I have said to the Greens that I will talk to them next week," she said.

But she said she didn't want to draw any conclusions at this point.

"What is clear is that we do have that mandate to press ahead and form Government, but at the same time, I have worked to build consensus over the past."

Labour won an outright majority on Saturday night.

It's 49.1 per cent means the party gets 64 MPs in the House.

In the 2017 election, Ardern needed the support of both the Greens and NZ First to form a Government.

That mean she had to do deals with both parties. For example, NZ First got a number of Cabinet Ministers and some key policies like the Provincial Growth Fund in its coalition deal.

The Greens provided Confidence and Supply to Labour and also got some Ministerial portfolios and policies the party had been pushing for.

This time around, however, Labour does not need to do a deal with the Greens.

However, Ardern may choose to do one anyway and that is what will be discussed over the next couple of weeks.