October 09, 2017
Coalition talks a toss up
A former Labour Party chief of staff believes Winston Peters still has an open mind about which party New Zealand First will support into Government.
Mr Peters and his team talked with National this morning and Labour this afternoon as the parties try to meet a self-imposed Thursday deadline for announcing the coalition choice.
Matt McCarten says his choices are National, Labour with or without the Greens, or sitting on the cross benches … which is unlikely.
When Mr Peters says it's all about the policy, that's code for he wants to go with Labour, but it also gives him negotiating leverage with National.
"I've taken the view Winston is genuinely not sure. I don't think he has made his mind up. He will be predisposed with both; it's whether he trusts National, and the answer is probably not because of past experiences and he knows what they think of him, and with Labour, are they inexperienced?" Mr McCarten says.
The departure from politics of people like John Key, Tau Henare and Russel Norman means Winston Peters has more of a clean slate to work from with past betrayals off the table.
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