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Peters emerges from meeting with Labour, reveals three key issues

10 October 2017 1:08 AM
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Winston Peters has emerged from the day's first coalition meeting with the Labour Party team, saying that an overvalued dollar, overseas investment, and affordable housing are issues that need to be addressed by the next Government.

Flanked by advisor Paul Carrad and MPs Ron Mark, Tracey Martin and Darroch Ball, Peters spoke briefly to media this morning following his team's meeting with Labour.

Asked about the weakening New Zealand dollar, Peters said that "exporters will be pleased".

"If you're an export-dependent nation, why would you go ahead and persist with an inflated dollar, which even the IMF says is overvalued?"

He added that he was not shedding light on the substance of coalition talks, but then referred to the sale of ANZ subsidiary UDC Finance to China's HNA Group, saying: "That's the kind of sad country we have become, and that's what we're [trying to] address in these coalition talks."

Peters said that affordable housing was also a key issue, regardless of whether New Zealand First decided to go with National or Labour.

This morning Auckland councillor Chris Darby said only 98 affordable homes had been built under the 2013 Auckland Housing Accord, calling the scheme a "dismal failure".

Asked if affordable housing would be tackled regardless of which party lead the next Government, Peters said: "Precisely, yes."

He would not comment on whether he could seek an extension on the Thursday deadline, but suggested he would still meet it.

"We're sticking with our talks now. They're going very well. They're very serious, very meaningful, and we'll get through the programme."

He said there was a main issue that was discussed in the meeting with the Labour team, but would not elaborate.

He would not comment on whether a referendum on the Maori seats was being discussed in the coalition talks.

He and his team have just entered the first meeting of the day with the National Party.


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