Coalition talks: NZ First, National 'making huge progress'

11 October 2017 2:25 AM

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Negotiations to form the next government are reaching a crucial stage with two days left for talks between NZ First and the main parties.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has wrapped a morning meeting with National - saying "huge progress" is being made.

Peters will shortly begin another meeting with Labour's negotiation team, and said a picture was emerging as to what policies parties' shared, and what they disagreed upon.

"We are making huge progress finding out what we agree on, what we don't agree on, what we can still negotiate on. And where we might take things into the future by co-operation.

"We know what we are doing. We have got a plan. And we are sticking with it."

If Labour is to lead the next Government an agreement will need to be worked out with both NZ First and the Green Party.

Peters won't meet with the Greens and has said he doesn't want Labour to update NZ First on what the Greens want. Greens leader James Shaw says he trusts Ardern to work out a deal that his party will be happy with.

At least 75 per cent of Green party members will need to approve any deal, and this will be done through delegates.

Asked if he was concerned about that process, Peters implied the sign-off process wouldn't be complex because of the number of delegates that would be consulted.

"You should know far more about the Greens than I do. But they don't have to go back to their membership. They have to go back to about 170 members. Even I know that."

Peters turned on a journalist who asked about how the Greens would fit into any deal.

"For two years you have run a Labour-Greens Government. Now you are asking me why you made that mistake for two got it all wrong.

"Please don't ask me to explain your gross misrepresentation of the political situation in this country for the last three years."

Earlier today, Green Party leader James Shaw finished his meeting with Jacinda Ardern and the Labour negotiating team - saying he trusts Labour to deliver a good deal for his party.


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