November 16, 2023
Diary dance delays coalition confab
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has denied being a no-show for coalition talks in Wellington on Tuesday.
National’s Chris Luxon and ACT’s David Seymour flew to the capital and then back to Auckland, and the first short three-way meeting was held at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland yesterday morning.
Mr Peters says he was responding to a request from Singapore foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who wanted to meet him as he transited through Auckland on his way from the Pacific Island Forum meeting in Rarotonga through to APEC in San Francisco.
His name is Balakrishnan, the foreign minister, our fourth largest trading partner or a country that processes so much of our trade through that country, imports and exports. That’s the reason I had to change my diary about four times to try to accommodate where I might meet him and in the end he decided he’d like to meet me in Auckland and I had to change my flight abut four times and in the end they couldn’t do it,” he says.
Mr Peters says the meeting should not be read as a sign he is getting the foreign affairs portfolio again, but was about using long standing relationships to do what’s good for the country.