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So another week, another five days of negotiations it appears as National, Act and NZ First hammer out the conditions required for forming a government.
Christopher Luxon, the Prime Minister-in-waiting, was on with Mike Hosking this morning and he says while the three parties may agree on most issues, there are sticking points - tax and ACT’s referendum on the Treaty clearly being two of them, given the pause of inner turmoil that occurred when Mike Hosking put the acid on Christopher Luxon.
He said is it the referendum on the Treaty and tax? And there was a long pause and then the Prime Minister-in-waiting started to reply. And Mike said nope, too long, given it away, to which he laughed.
Christopher Luxon says in all likelihood, he won't be heading off to APEC. The deadline for leaving would be midday Wednesday, and he says he doesn't think negotiations will be wrapped up by then. Besides, he says it's more important to put together a government that can stand the test of time than head off to APEC.
And I would agree. I think that it's more important that he be here forming a government than it is to head off to APEC. The gains will be greater for New Zealand if he stays here and gets that government together.
But there are going to have to be compromises. Even though National garnered the lion's share of the votes out of those three parties, they're still going to have to compromise. ACT is going to have to compromise. And I know it's not in Winston Peters' vocabulary, but he too will have to compromise.
So if you voted National, ACT or NZ First, what policies from your chosen party's manifestos would you be willing to ditch in order to reach a compromise? Are there some that you die in a ditch for? Others you think, all right, I can live with ditching that one, we'll live to fight another day.
Christopher Luxon, it appears has already considered reversing the ban on foreign buyers be sacrificed. Tax cuts, nonnegotiable for National for the middle to lower income New Zealanders, he said that time and time again, but there have been hints that reversing the ban on foreign buyers might be sacrificed if it means being able to form a government.
I'm sure National voters could live with that, could you not? If you voted National and all of a sudden because of Winston's intransigence, the ban on foreign buyers was not reversed could you accept that?
But you will have to find the money for the tax cuts somewhere else. And while MBI has already announced there will be redundancies, and the $27-a-head donation towards the Christmas party that is paid for on behalf of staff will be scrapped. There's going to have to be a lot more $27 donations to Christmas parties to be scrapped if you're going to make up the money required for the tax cuts.
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Christopher Luxon said it was worth taking the time now to thrash out the principles of a new government because he was looking to establish a government that could stand the test of time, looking ahead to three terms or nine years.
So what could you live with? If you voted ACT and the referendum on the treaty proved to be a sticking point, could you live with the fact that they might compromise on it?
If perhaps, the commitment to licensed firearms owners that they would start again and rewrite the Arms Act if they said well, you know we're going to give them that, but we get to keep the treaty.
You know there is going to be horse-trading. And some of the promises made by the parties who are now trying to form a government will not be delivered on. So what can you live with? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to get a centre-right government that can stand the test of time?
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