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Tim Dower: The talks are dragging on too long now

Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Fri, 17 Nov 2023, 8:10am
Photo / File
Photo / File

Tim Dower: The talks are dragging on too long now

Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Fri, 17 Nov 2023, 8:10am

Last time I had the privilege of hosting this show I said I had confidence in Chris Luxon's approach to these coalition talks. 

I said it seemed businesslike, and I sensed he was out to cut a good deal that'll stick. 

I hope I’m not proved wrong on that. 

One thing you have to say about the way it's being handled is that all three of the key figures involved have been disciplined and kept things quiet. 

Political editors and reporters are coming up against a brick wall when they seek comment. 

Not so much as a sneaky hint has leaked out, and to me that speaks to good faith. The horse trading and hard talking is being done between these three and their teams, not in the media. 

But still, it's dragging on too long now. Christmas is coming and I for one want to see Parliament sitting again, a clear direction set, and some action. 

It's not about who does what job really, I didn't vote with that uppermost in my mind. 

Like more than half of the people who did vote, I wanted shot of the last awful crowd and a change of direction. 

I want action on crime, education, the health system, the cost of living, on social cohesion. 

Was that a hint from Winston about some dude from Rarotonga being in town, the fact he had to see that guy indicate he might lining up another stint as Foreign Minister? 

I'd be OK with that if it's the only bauble Winston First gets. 

The blunt truth is without Mister 6 percent, this could have been cleaned up three weeks ago. 

And we'd have a start on the real stuff, the change I mentioned before. 

Everyone assumes it's Mister Peters dragging the chain, and history would support that theory, but it could be Seymour, or it could be Luxon himself playing hardball. 

Thing is, the people either getting ready for work at 5:30 in the morning or are on their way, or already there —the people who pay the taxes and send their kids to school because they want to play their part and get ahead— I don't think they care too much who does what job. 

What we want is good government with a good plan it can see through. 

Every day without a deal that produces that is a day wasted. 

But it's a far smaller waste than what we had, or what we might’ve ended up with if this had been rushed. 

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