Winston Peters says there are 9 possible outcomes based on election night and will wait until 7 October special votes are in before further comments; Options are understood to include issue-by-issue minority govt situation

By Alex Tarrant

Winston Peters says Saturday's vote has allowed for nine government permutations, although he's not going to talk about them, or coalition potential, until special votes are known on 7 October.

Interest.co.nz understands that included in the nine are situations where policies are supported (or not) on an issue-by-issue basis - effectively giving rise to the potential of minority National and/or Labour governments. But Peters on Wednesday wasn't giving anything away as to whether he and his caucus favoured one route or any other.

The New Zealand First leader spent 25 minutes on Wednesday fronting to the political press in Parliament, sometimes discussing New Zealand First’s approach to the next few weeks, but largely ripping into the media on pre- and post-election coverage and on the lines of questioning during the press conference on potential coalitions.

Peters and his caucus had just emerged from a two-and-a-half-hour meeting – the team’s first get together since Saturday’s election. After initially laying into the media with his initial remarks, Peters raised the issue of the special votes – why 384,000 people still had not had their votes counted, meaning NZ First had to withhold its views on government formation until after they were known on 7 October.

Peters told media there were nine permutations for the make-up of the government after the 23 September results. He said these didn’t include any with ACT involved. 

He also asked the media not to write that one party [ie National] had “got the moral authority” to lead a government. “We’re not under first-past-the-post here,” he said. Peters said he would seek feedback from NZ First’s membership, but caveated this by saying he would expect the party board would already have a fair understanding of members’ views. New Zealand First’s final position is expected to be a result of the views of its caucus and board.

Peters said his caucus at the start of its meeting had forsworn not to put their own personal views above the interests of the party or the country. NZ First would make a decision in the national interest “when we know what the people of this country have said,” he said. Peters indicated that he expected he could have a final decision by 12 October.

Asked whether the timeframe of less than a week between 7 and 12 October was tight, Peters said he’d been aware of other parties’ policies for more than a year, and of their costings. While he acknowledged others had tried to cost NZ First policies, he said public references to any numbers had all been wrong. He accepted that conversations might be held in the meantime.

He also referred to speculation that he had a vendetta against National’s Steven Joyce. “I don’t hate people,” he said before saying he’d discussed the matter in an airport queue with Joyce himself Wednesday morning, with neither of them able to figure out the source of the speculation.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the "Register" link below a comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.

103 Comments

"Nine permutations"? Winston is obviously better at math than me.

All I can think of are four to get at least 61 seats, and these don't include Seymour/ACT.

NAT + NZF = 67 seats
NAT + GRN = 65 seats
NAT + LAB = 103 seats
LAB + GRN + NZF = 61 seats

Two of these seem very improbable indeed.

Can anyone enlighten me on Winston's "logic" ?

Plus all the coalition versus confidence and supply agreements versus sitting on the cross benches

There are also the potential that the left/right might pick up or lose a couple of seats. He will need to factor that National may gain a seat and still need him, or Labour Greens could gain up to 2 seats and still need him.

So there are a few unknowns with the special vote to be considered.

You are thinking FPP - this is MMP

You have omitted 5 minority government options
Then there is the option of going back to the polls

OK. I get the cross bench option. Another far-out one.

But why are my set FPP options? What are your "MMP options"? I need these explained to me. Please. (These "MMP options" sound like smoke and mirrors to me. But I am open to knowing what they are.)

I don't think "minority govt" options are real options. "Confidence & Supply agreements" are the same as my list above. They decide who governs. I am still at four options, and only two real ones. I suspect Winston is just making stuff up as he speaks, winging it.

One of the media outlets put out a really good graphic of each of the nine permutations. I'll see if I can locate it.

Nine permutations involving NZ1st are listed by political journalist Claire Trevettt are here -plus three more involving the highly unlikely Green/National party combinations
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11927164

Listening to talk back radio it appears a great number of people do not understand the implications of MMP - for instance it could be possible for NZF+LAB to agree to join together, the GRNs get cut loose and stand alone while NATs form a government without 61 seats - highly unlikely but possible - the problem is NZ has never had a minority government - but it can work as Julia Gillard found in AU - successfully for 3 years - drove the talking heads nuts.

It worked because the other side were terrified of forcing a new election knowing they would be slaughtered

John Key\National included Māori Party in 2008 etc in the supply agreement even though they didn’t need the numbers. More as a public relations exercise and to keep them from oppositional voting.

thats the trouble with baubles of office, they can blind people from the bigger picture. if they had stayed outside and screamed and shouted and made small changes they most likely would have survived as they would have had the image of fighting against oppression, underdog against big (white) bully.
instead they got seen as buckling under time after time, and sooner or later that wears thin.
even though they did get some policy through it was not enough and big enough to make any difference

Technically LAB + GREEN + NAT,
LAB + NZF + NAT,
LAB + GREEN + NZF + NAT,
NAT + GREEN + NZF
& Re-election
Might be possible.
If he is allowing for 2 swing votes from the special votes then NAT solo might be his 9th option

They are not real options. If you can get LAB + NAT together, why on earth would you need NZF? or the GRN, or NZF + GRN. Once you have 61+ votes you only complicate matters immeasurably with others joining in. No politician is ever going to make things harder when an 'easier' solution is available.

Similarly NAT + GRN + NZF is just unnecessarily harder than just NAT plus one of either of them.

None of these are sensible options.

I think it could be more likely that NZF splinters - not highly likely, but more likely than NAT + GRN + NZF.

All a bit academic until we get the special vote results?

David, the nine outcomes relate to the form of Government/governing arrangements - none of the nine including ACT being in the mix and not considering a Nat/Green coalition.

In other words, nine options for the various forms of government where NZF is the decision-maker with respect to that form the government takes.

The graphic had a cute beehive with the flags in the various party colours sticking out the top of the beehive (indicating coalition parties to the Government), or placed to the side of the beehive (signalling C&S agreement by the 'flag' not on top, but rather beside) and the options of a coalition agreement in the form of the smaller partner being inside versus outside Cabinet. As well as options for a two-party coalition (either LAB/Green or Lab/NZF) with the other party outside giving C&S.

But, sorry, I can't find it (the article with the graphic).

An extreme swing either way however unlikely with the Specials, mathematically gives
NAT alone >61
LAB + GRN >61
LAB + NZF >61
LAB alone (minority)

Nats minority govt, Winnie on cross benches (his natural home btw imho)
Lab + Winnie with Greens with confidence and supply
So that's 6, might need some help to get to 9 but if all of the specials go to Winnie, as I am sure he is hoping, he might be able to form his own minority govt, with anyone else on confidence and supply. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Well a politicians "nine" is akin to a bakers "dozen", as in they are different numbers.

up
21

Good on Winnie for giving it to the media.
The 'moral authority' thing is garbage in the context of MMP

Fritz I’m trying to work out in my head who will last the longest when they finally have this meeting, Jacinda or bill. He’s bound to go off the deep end. Jacinda would be smart enough to give a little but can stand her ground too. Bill I think will lose it and try and be smart. Winnie will pounce at that behaviour. Winnie hates stupid questions so bill would definitely lose there too. This shouldn’t be funny but I’m still laughing after watching that video. I hope bill doesn’t have high blood pressure. Maybe he should have a big blow before this meeting. Smoke a ounce

He be lappin' it up

it's great entertainment

Has he a moral right to continue to hold this country to ransom.
He is a blight on democracy,the sooner his little party disappears the better.

up
15

Deluded scaremongering

Explain in minute detail how you think WP is holding anybody to ransom

NATs didn't get over the line and they (the NATs) need the help of someone else - tough

up
16

What cracks me up is that every Nat supporter I have talked to since Saturday has trumpeted the election 'win'. They don't seem to realise is that Saturday was a terrible result for the Nats as it has required them to go hat in hand to a party that they share very little in common with.

The reality is that the government that all of those Nat supporters voted for is going to look very different to the one that they will get with Winston/NZ First. Some are starting to realise it now that we are hearing the calls of the process is undemocratic, etc.

National may have won the battle but could still lose the war.

Yeah nymad, all I’ve heard is the same thing. It’s as if peters will definitely go with national and with peters there’ll be no differents . Unbelievable. National with peters is more or less like a big % off labour getting in. In fact if I was a bull on immigration and high house prices I’m not sure which would be worse. National and NZF or labour NZF and the greens. Peters with national will have strict changes and dates because he’d need to be certain things happened but with labour I’m not so sure of urgency

So .. in you view which party had a better result ?

Well, only one got heaps more than was thought possible just a few short weeks ago......

That's two of us happy with the result .. something must be very wrong.

The beauty of MMP: everyone is a winner, and gets a participation prize.

Haha .. this is all Lab ( 35%) and Green ( 5.9% , a bit more than a half of what they polled last time ) can claim. If they consider that success may that success continue ..

Labour and Green really need to be considered as one block.
there's every chance that their block vote could rise from 41% to 43% after special votes, and the Nats could drop to 44%.
Nothing in it.

you do not understand MMP .. percentages are nothing ; it is the number of seats that matters , currently 59 for Nat/Act vs 54 for Lab/Green - not close . This is how it stands . The rest is "could" and might" ..

?
Percentages are nothing in MMP, amongst >5% parties?
You do know how they are allocated seats in parliament when they are above the 5% or have an electorate, right? It's by a percentage split.

Paashaas. Then you should be careful with your words to if you understand MMP . Not close is meaningless with peters

Paashaas, to quote yourself: "face it, your team lost"

More people voted against National's ideology than for it. For National to get into power will require more changes to that ideology than it would for Labour/Greens. Either way, National gets reined in. Democracy wins.

'More people voted against National's ideology than for it.'
Nailed it!
And, despite what Paashaas thinks, we left first past the post behind last century. It's obviously not about which single party has the biggest vote.

Cullen puts is much more eloquently in 2005 with the Labour 41.1% popular vote win. "We won, you lost, eat that."

Paashaas. If you are asking me. Nationals result is they have to change a lot of what they were used to or they’re out. NZF gets there own way either way and helps to lead . Labour changes little and helps to lead or is out but some of there biggest policies are still put in threw peters and they have a extremely good chance to lead in 3 years. Greens , chance to help lead. Results in order of “winning haha” . NZF, labour , greens and I cant see national have any advantages at all except embarrassment. How’s that for basics

O4
Interesting to think what policy concessions Nats may have to give to get Winnie to side with them.
Surely he wants a pull back in immigration? When you look at his policies, reduced immigration is central to many of them, such as housing.
Also with regards to housing, he's much closer to Labour in terms of limiting foreign buying, and building more houses.
On policy grounds, he's simply much closer to Labour than the Nats in most areas, and that has to count.

Labour are halfway there already with their immigration policy.

Fritz. It would be great if we could turn back the clock 4 or 5 years as if this overseas investors and high immigration levels never happened but we can’t. Those two things had a big part in the housing boom and high rents and unaffordability. Peters is against the two of those two major policy’s. So is labour. It’s a hell of a shame if people get hurt with house prices coming down. Landlords could get hit . Builders. Developers. The economy. But it needs to happen to fix the problems. I don’t think the last 4 years should have happened at all. Interest rates should have gone up. Overseas investors should never been aloud to invest in homes. It probably doesn’t matter about what peters does with overseas investors because housing is correcting anyway but something still needs to be done . Immigration is miles to high for Auckland for many reasons to list. If labour or peters had a good result from overseas investors and immigration those two things alone would be enough for me. You’d be surprised the things they would fix in the end. Getting there’s the problem, and the blame game. I shouldn’t say this but naturally the government build houses, killing overseas investors and dropping immigrants are all house price killers but it’s peaked anyway. We need cheap housing. We need to start looking after the people that are here. Shame we stopped because it’s going to be painful turning the clock back

'Looking after the people we have here' - now there is a novel thought!
I just 'don't get' how many people effectively support the status quo high immigration settings.
Really don't get it.

Yeah high immigration goes back to the early 2000 with Clark but people were leaving for mining etc overseas. National took things to extremes and with the help of the RB didn’t stop it way Before the housing bubble got carried away. It could never have carried on which has just recently proofed to be correct. Now the country’s in dept from hell and there’s a risk interest rates could go up but I don’t think so . And overseas investors could massively leave nzs housing if prices drop to much which I think will happen . There’s a lot of maybes at the moment but one things for sure nationals high house plan is over . That’s the one thing they don’t get but remember housing is dropping anyway. Labour and peters just won’t let it happen again . Wages, house prices, dept , keep these 3 in check and happy happy happy. Not . Greed greed greed

National supporters are rarely the sharpest tools in the shed.

Is that based on the linguistic / mathematical proficiency of the median individual from their voter base relative to that of the voter base of comparable political parties in NZ or some other form of scholastic aptitude? Please elaborate and provide sources.
I am exceptionally interested in this assertion because I have personally noticed a strong positive correlation between fiscal aptitude and political alignment amongst my peers.

Perhaps these options have escaped some of the public.

1. An injuction in the High Court to stop policies being implemented that diminish or override the 1688 Bill of Rights.

2. Personal accounts sent to MP's for compensation against any loss of rights.

3. Personal accounts sent to political parties for formulating policies that seize individual rights.

Maybe these crazy election promises and deals that go beyond the mandate that the 1688 Bill of Rights grants to politicians on entering parliament is going to take another twist!!

He doesn't have to wait until the final count.There is no reason why he can't announce who he is going with now.
It's not first past the post as everybody reminds me,so no need to hold back.

up
17

What?
Of course he needs to wait.
The strength and bargaining position of the coalition partners isn't confirmed until the final vote is tallied.

Of course he has to wait, there is an outside chance that every single one of those votes could be for NZF.

As a true-blue believer why don't you get the ball rolling by giving us a list of the concessions Billy-Boy could put on the table as sweeteners for Winston to chew on

Go on - Billy-Boy doesn't have to wait - he can put up his promises now - straight away

two otherguys,
NZ first didn't quite make it over the line you mean, and they are screaming (for help??).
Tails wagging the elephants as usual in this neck of the woods.

NG. Didn’t you watch the video. Wait to the 7th. It’s the right thing to do

Dont get that, democracy gave him 7%. If National have the Moral Authority then they would get more then 50%, they didnt. People who voted for WP knew he may have the Kingmakers role, his policies align with theirs. If they wanted National, they would have voted for National.
NZers know the greens will partner with Labour. So effectively thats a block. Now we wait for special votes.

WPs policies align more with labour but I may be wrong, but its about whose policies align and the number of people who voted for it. That will give whoever the majority. WP is doing a good job.

MMP you have to love it.

Nats and Labs are not so far apart as people perceive. Both are pro immigration, pro free market, You don't have to go so far back in history to find Labour more right wing than Nats (think Roger Douglas).
So the grand coalition and WP is left outside.

Are labour pro immigration.

Theres a storyline thats goes once upon a time.

We have a horrendous situation in NZ with poor infrastructure where we are reducing number of classes, we have hospital ques, traffic jams, house prices out of this world with average of 900K in Auckland, DTIs of 10 times, money laundering, education rorts, low wage inflation, low productivity.

Even Bolger says "neoliberal economic policies have absolutely failed."
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/91769882/The-9th-floor-Jim-Bolg...

lovely - three more weeks with everybody fawning over some almost 80 yr old egomaniac with only 7.5% of the vote - paralyzing the country when we need to get on with it - the special votes wont really change anything - Nat and NZF will have a majority and Lab NZF and Green will have a majority either way - Nats will still be biggest party by 7-10% regardless of the special votes - so he can make the call now - in fact if the specials go the same way historically - nats will lose 1 or 2 NZF will drop .25%+ and the greens will get one or two - which could weaken his position on teh left if the greens end up with nine seats!

madness

up
12

Holy moley, I hope when I make 72 that no-one calls me an almost 80 yr old.

Close to a ton is worse or “isn’t it not long now to you get that letter from the queen “

That one I am not counting on, not with my family's genetics

either way he definitely qualifies as an "old dinosaur" - why the strange silence from Taxinda's household I wonder ???

You got to know when to hold 'em

Jacinda and peters are on the same page. It’s pointless saying or doing anything to after the 7th. Thats a good sign of a good team

Yer, 3 years ago NATs couldn't get over the 61 line on their own, having to rely on their pet rats to give them that final leg up, and sure the rubber-stamp pet rats gave the NATs immediate control without any argy-bargy or negotiating - well look where that got those minor parties - oblivion - gone - finished - kaput - but these NAT urgers want the same immediate hari-kari by NZ First - the more I see of this utter-rubbish the more I'm inclined to hope Winston goes for the cross-bench option, sides with LAB on divisions and makes NATs look like fools for 3 years

Assuming the specials make the gap between national and labour+green closer, it either gives Winnie more bargaining power if he wants to go with national or gives him a mandate if he wants to go with labour. He would be crazy not to wait

Knups - he just wants to know if the three winged left Govt will have more than one bare seat to cover any dissention which is understandable and fair enough. Although I'm not sure 2-3 would be much more comfort

The paralyzing the economy comment is bloody ridiculous. You can sit in the corner in your self induced coma if you like. Elections are like weddings, you get out of bed the next day, the birds still sing, coffee tastes the same, you are still breathing. Nothing changes, especially if the nats get another go, nothing changes.

Welcome to the real world....people wanting certainty in an uncertain world.

Three things certain in life; taxes, death and Winston.

The election in a close race ends on the 7th. It’s not the end of the world. Although you’d think so from the national voters . I guess they think by hurrying peters he will go with national. Haha there’s a good reason peters is waiting and it doesn’t look good for national. Because yes there’s no point waiting if he was going with national.

Winston's Chinese water torture. Dripping onto Bill's forehead.

This is a hung parliament - get used to it

In a parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament is an expression used to describe a state of a parliament when no single political party has an outright majority of seats in the parliament (legislature) and therefore has no legitimate mandate to form a government

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hung_parliament

Actually there is an additional option that is rapidly becoming more appealing in light of the anxious, distasteful clamouring for power that undermines peoples view of government; a coup d'état.

Doctor, I LIKE your medicine!!

my prediction - If Peters forms a National coalition the herald and other MSM will praise his decision with reassuring articles of positive affirmation. If however he chooses a Labour Green coalition he will be savaged with the same vitriolic contempt that's being directed towards Donald Trump in the US.

They’ll get over it

If labour + greens are much closer to national after the specials he should be OK. My guess is he would rather go left and is hoping that happens.

Squealing of the pigs. The corporate media can go jump.

Who reads the Herald or watches TV News nowadays? We do record the News but skim through the NZ gossip and world propaganda sections to sport and weather.

Was he ever a headmaster?

I think NZ first got a great deal from the media. Some of their policies are bonkers, yet all the media talked about were taxes that labour were highly unlikely to implement

Oh dear, just watching Backbenchers and it has just come to me that NZF in govt are going to be nigh on insufferable.

the national MP was out numbered one against three on just about each issue, is that a sign?
loved the low blow from tracey about importing nationals voting base in auckland

I think there is more than a modicum of truth in it, however, as I think the immigrant vote is actually affecting outcomes of elections now, this one and the last.

my personal opinion from talking to many immigrants most likely true of new immigrants, as they want to still bring in family and friends and keep telling me we are under populated and they all voted national.
for those been here 10 years + seems they focus more on the other issues health, education, housing the same things that effect the rest of us so some tend to be moving away from national to other parties but they seem confused as too which to vote for.
many dont understand MMP and seem confused when you try to explain vote splitting to them for a better outcome. ie ACT

up
14

All the more reason to restrict voting to CITIZENS.

Restrict voting to Citizens who are tax residents of New Zealand. If you aren’t paying tax in NZ then you shouldn’t be able to vote taxes on those that are.

But what if you own a house, or ten, in NZ? You've still got skin in the game.

If you have an enduring relationship with NZ such as houses you are likely a tax resident.

In reality, the simple rules work best. People seem to want to screw the scrum to suit their views. Just leave it as is and suck up the result.

But what if you elect not to work and as such pay no tax, surely voting taxes unto others is still a basic right

.

What if all you do is sell a house and pocket untaxed capital gains?

Maybe every $10,000 of net tax paid should entitle you to an additional vote on top of a single vote that every one gets simply for being in NZ during the election? That way people would be encouraged to pay more tax!

How did the Aussie citizens now resident in NZ vote ? Would be interesting to know.

Yes, that was interesting. Tracey Martin is an excellent politician (I always felt the NZF education policy was one of the best, if not the best on offer) and it was nice of Winston to say that with her on the panel, they were in very good hands.

The People have voted for a National led Govt.

up
15

I think you'll find more people voted NOT for National.

True r1970m by about a whole 4% - but then when you consider that a higher percentage of NZers voted for National this election, than when they got into Govt in 2008 (i.e. After 9 yrs of challenges of Govt more people think they're worthy of support than did before), only the blind beggar wouldn't see that as a major endorsement of a job well down to date across the wide spectrum of what a Govt has responsibility for?

I've got my popcorn in one hand, a tipple in the other and am sitting back enjoying the show

Anybody know what Winston meant by 'inevitable correction' with this interview with Australia's Sky News on Wednesday?

Peters told Sky News that the one "big thing" he wanted both Labour and National to consider in exchange for his cooperation was the international economy.

"I want them to promise that they have a grasp of economic reality. I think that we're in a very serious state with our international economy, I think the situation in China is very uncertain and unstable in terms of the debt. It's not so flash in Australia, our biggest trading partner, and one tremor can have a serious effect on New Zealand," he said.

"I wished in this campaign, the two parties had a grasp of the inevitable correction it's going to take and how much pain that's going to bring. That's what I really hope for."
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/97321178/winston-peters-hints-...

up
11

Winston has an inkling of what the endgame is for our hollowed out debt ridden housing ponzi economy.

IMO - Basically the world economies are currently fueled by massive debt, china $250 Trillion alone.

There comes a time where the creation of money has to stop or it devalues the currency, so cash then becomes a lot tighter. As a result interest rates rise based on demand and risk.

Basically once everyone starts wanting their money back the speculative markets loose ground back to true value, defaults start happening, bankruptcies and liquidations follow. Jobs get lost, consumer spending dries up and there you have it Depression

Once again, this statement from Winnie places him much closer policy-wise to Labour than the Nats.
The thing is, with the Nats hands off policy, the going is better when things are good, but the going is worse when things turn sour.
We are already seeing construction turning, a policy like Labour's Kiwibuild will keep building activity ticking along much better than the status quo approach which is very subject to the whims of the market.

I wonder of the few hundred thousand new kiwis that have come here in the last 9 years how many gave a vote of thanks or a vote to close the door behind them?