Todd Muller says it's 'quite possible' that 'maybe' National could change its position and work with Winston Peters after the election

Todd Muller says it's 'quite possible' that 'maybe' National could change its position and work with Winston Peters after the election
Nikki Kaye, Todd Muller. Pool image from RNZ.

National’s new leader, Todd Muller, isn’t ruling out working with New Zealand First after the September 19 election.

The party’s now ousted leader, Simon Bridges, in February said: “I don’t believe we can work with NZ First and have a constructive trusting relationship.

“When National was negotiating in good faith with NZ First after the last election, its leader was suing key National MPs and staff. I don’t trust NZ First and I don’t believe New Zealanders can either.”

Asked at Friday’s press conference whether National would reconsider its position, Muller said: “This issue has not been put in front of the caucus to even consider…

“It’s quite possible, maybe, that in the future we could refresh that - I don’t know.

“The caucus position is very clear. It has been clear since January. Let’s see if it changes in the future.”

According to both the latest Newshub-Reid Research and 1 News-Colmar Brunton polls, National would only get 41 seats in Parliament, even with the help of ACT, should there be an election now.

It would need a huge popularity bump before the September 19 election to secure the necessary 61 seats to govern without the support of additional coalition partners.

Meanwhile, NZ First wouldn’t make it back to Parliament, with support of around 2.8% of those polled.

NZ First’s way in could be through Shane Jones winning the Northland seat off National’s Matt King.

NZ First leader Winston Peters on Friday told Stuff he wished Muller "all the best" but didn't want to offer his immediate thoughts on potentially working with National. 

Peters said he worked with Muller when he was the National MP for Tauranga and Muller was the head of the Waikato University Young Nats, and had been impressed with him then.

He said Muller inherited a "deeply divided caucus" with "far too many members dancing to a different number".

Muller later in the press conference mentioned the fact he set up the first Young Nats group at Waikato University. He then jokingly commented: “I probably shouldn’t say it, but I’ll say it anyway - our first guest to Waikato University was somebody who was the MP for Tauranga and he turned up with a wine box. I don’t know if you know who that guy is.”

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.

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.

69 Comments

Todd Muller may be Catholic but is quick to abort [whole industries].

Lisa Owen (Tonight's RNZ Checkpoint):
"Alright, let's do some quick fire questions Todd, I want some sharp answers from you on these - no dilly-dallying, alright."

Lisa Owen's Question:
Legalize cannabis or not?

Todd Muller's Answer:
"No"

Excellent question, sums his whole personality and plan up in a nutshell.

Life long gnational party wannabe.

Stale, pale male.

Even as a left leaner that's thoroughly disappointing.

I Know, here I am trying get through to my 17 year old damaged done going out sinking 10 beers at a party, and trying to keep away from drugs etc...as you don't won't kill anyone driving home next day..damn anyone trying help parents like us, damn them

11
up

The governing National Party in 1999, led by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley lowered the drinking age.

I understand your point, It must be hard raising young-adults in a world of temptations, consumerism and secularism.

Let me also point out .. that 17 is not the legal drinking age ,, should we arrest and charge your teenager? Put him/her in a cage?

Cannabis could be a multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry for NZ - employing thousands, helping millions.

Yeah you tell every parent what legal drinking age is and pop into teenage party... that's exactly why we need political people with LIFE skills, not utopian ideas

If your kid will drink beers at 17 what makes you think he gives a sh*t whether or not weed is legal? If the 10 beers were illegal he would still be drinking them but he'd be buying them at a gang pad rather than getting a mate to pick them up at the local bottlo.

You obviously have no children that are teenagers in 2020.

No I don't but I'm pretty sure I was one more recently than you.

(Edit: Way to go back and edit your comment halfway through the conversation. For the record folks the original comment was just 'You obviously have no children.')

Well open your eyes....read the papers and go and talk to a few. you be very surprised. ..oh and by the way we all forget very quickly what were like as teenagers, go ask your parents.

12
up

Huh? What's that got to do with the point? Weed is already as common as salt in NZ. It's everywhere already and currently just funds gangs. It's more dangerous for your kid for it to be illegal than legal, that is the point.

(Edit: Can you stop editing comments after I reply to them? Chur.)

It's common, but alcohol is sold on every corner in NZ, and teenagers get hold of it a lot more easily than weed. I would hate to see weed this easy to get, medical weed under strict conditions no problem. But NZ is not mature enough for weed to be available on every street corner...we not even mature drinkers

15
up

"and teenagers get hold of it a lot more easily than weed"

Oh boy, it really has been a while since you were a teenager huh...

Look, weed is significantly less dangerous as an actual drug than alcohol. Any danger around weed comes pretty much entirely from the fact that it's illegal. Alcohol being the one that's legal is incredibly arbitrary in the first place.

Amsterdam has not descended into chaos yet. Relax, it will be fine.

You are not a parent so have no idea..you speak like a teenager.. grow up. Weed is something they may dabble in, alcohol is common place. Weed is common place, meth is something they dabble in. Dangerous spiral, but as you have no children you have no idea in what parents try teach and quide their kids, so don't even try justify your comments.

12
up

FCM, just because someone tries pot doesn't mean they're hooked and on the downward spiral to shooting up heroin, just like someone who snorts a line of cocaine isn't going to instantly pick up a habit of Stevie Nicks proportions and turn out a societal disaster (she certainly didn't even though she had her issues)

If you think kids (yours or mine) aren't going to try drugs then you're somewhat delusional I'd say.

And as for saying to someone 'you're not a parent so you have no idea', that's just plain daft. No parent wants to see their kids hooked on drugs (be it booze or P or sleeping pills) but having a glass of wine is no more a downward spiral than trying weed/cocaine/ecstacy/P/cask wine or speights.

If in turn your or my kids get hooked on said substance/s then that's an addiction issue that was going to come out in one form or another and should be dealt with appropriately, not by banning everything that the alcohol and big pharma industries have taught the world to despise.

That sounds like a 'good Christian' stance that really is out of touch with reality and the exact reason why the likes of Muller (and a good chunk of his party) will struggle. (imo)

Haha oh wow.

Addict. Four years sober. Don't tell me what I know.

You think you're protecting your kid by opposing legalisation and regulation. You're doing the opposite of what you're trying to achieve.

13
up

I'd rather both cannabis and alcohol-to-go products were sold only in government-run retail outlets. I believe that is how Canada operates in many of its provinces.

I'd agree with that Kate.

Every other corner, especially in the low socio-demographic areas has a booze shop, the councils should hang their heads in shame.

West Auckland is great with the Portage licencing trust, puts a lot of money back into the community and takes away those nasty corner shops.

Weed should most definitely be a govt run thing when it gets legalised. Having corporate greed involved in that is something that should be avoided for sure.

Trust Kate to come up with the smartest comment here. Absolutely and whole heartedly agree. When someone has the ability to make money off something, greed has a way of corrupting and distorting things. Substances are by their nature high risk and need to be dealt with in an appropriate way relative to their ability to cause harm.

Exactly. I notice Cindy isn’t risking her beatification on this topic. It’s a big No in our house, although the children may vote differently and cancel is out. Pot will fail and Euthanasia will Pass.

11
up

You vote ACT so you're automatically out of touch with how the vast majority of the population thinks

I think it'll be the other way around EE, and it'll be as big a yes in a lot of houses as it is a no in your house.

Pot is a lot less complicated than euthanasia though. And legalising weed will be like banning smoking in bars, everyone will look back in 12 months time and wonder what all the fuss was about and wonder why it didn't happen earlier.

As far as the result of the outcome i think both are prob 50/50 at this stage though.

13
up

You are right,good to see him oppose drugs...but as long as he remembers it is every National country boy/mans right to get on the turps and drive home from the rugby club.We like to stick to our legal drugs...

I'm a realist mate, this is the reality we try our best, but teenagers are like zoombies, that awesome wee baby grows up, then they try oppose everything you installed in them, so any help we can get is a bonus, especially not legalising dope, we have hard enough job with alcohol, that's my point

17
up

I hear ya mate,I have 3 of them.I used to be really opposed to legalising,but when you find out one of your own has driven to Clendon to buy a tinnie from some dodgy house,you start to think,you will never stop it.I'd rather he popped down to the local dispensary as he would with alcohol in a safe environment than frequenting those places.(he is over 18)

11
up

"they try oppose everything you installed in them"

And yet you don't understand why weed being illegal makes it MORE attractive to them?

14
up

Totally anecdotal but I've noticed all kinds of people who over-drink that get obnoxious, aggressive and pass-out wasted. Excessively stoned people get mellowed, find everything funny, or amazing - sometimes get a bit paranoid, but never particularly aggressive or offensive.

Kate. ".... Stoned people get mellow..." yes. And too many never get off the couch again.

12
up

Is that an actual observation? All the stoners I know work.

11
up

I have never ever seen a stoned person get in a fight.

Same.

dp

They're probably all too busy listening to music, pondering philosophy, enjoying food and having deep chats with their friends.

What terrible people. They're clearly a massive threat to society and it's best to lock them up! /s

I think you mean instilled.

10
up

Stale, pale, male?

Please replace each word separately with its corresponding antonym and tell me if you think this snide comment is neither racist or sexist?

Fresh, Dark, Female.

I just wanted to see it written down.

Looking forward to someone in journalism trying to make it an acceptable phrase. Maybe John Campbell, when he's interviewing Golriz Ghahraman next, could introduce her as such. "And now, it's my pleasure to introduce Golriz, the first MP in NZ from a refugee background, fresh, dark and female, welcome Golriz!"

Don't have a problem with legalisation. Commercialisation I am strongly opposed to.

OMG, I'm gobsmacked!

Guess all of NZ has the opportunity to prove Mr Muller’s opinion right or wrong by way of the referendum. Except of course those that, either way, are incapable of accepting that outcome, in a democracy, if it is contrary to their own viewpoint and interest.

"Except of course those that, either way, are incapable of accepting that outcome in a democracy .."

Are you describing Muller?? The readership here know the referendum isn't binding. At this point it's just a case of OK BOOMER.

22
up

Just another Simon Bridges but without the hair. The Nats just don't realise how out of touch they are with the rest of the Country. While they might be the party of choice for a farmer who lives in the McKenzie Country merrily polluting the environment with his herd of 9000 dairy cows and a pivot irrigator...neither Muller or Kaye will count in the eyes of the voting public because they represent a party that was hopeless for 6 out of the 9 years in government and still can't see the political landscape has changed dramatically over the past 5 to 6 years. HINT: It's called diversity.

By September majority people will vote for who they think can have polices to save their jobs and livelyhoods, regardless of the party. The fallout from corona will be in full force then.

Well I doubt the Nats will have any answers, how can they by virtue of being hopelessly blinkered preachers of orthodoxy? Bullet and bible stuff...might as well be baptists...

Thank goodness. I thought Muller and Co were too left but if they have your disapproval they must be ok.

Nikki Kaye is jacindas kyrptonite

I cant see Winston Peters wanting to jump into bed with the National Party at the moment. National simply seem out of touch and unelectable.

Perhaps after a real drumming in the next election they will have a complete overhaul of the party. They really need it.

Glitzy
Hopefully I cant see Winston being able to jump into bed with anyone . . . . and while that 2.7% NZF support is encouraging news, unfortunately Winston will pull out the China/immigration/race card(s) over the next few months to attract redneck support. .

The problem is that NZF is part of the government. The card you mentioned is effective if they were in the opposition. They are the victim of their own 'success' if you like...

He has already lost them for doing nothing about excessive immigration. They won't forget or forgive.

Winston will be counting on national not getting above 40%, then he will suck in some voters who will want him to put the breaks on a labour/green government.
after all if labour greens get in with a big enough majority they could pull out the CGT as a way of repaying the loans

True, think the prospect of a Labour/Greens only government would alarm most of the electorate. Obviously CV19 has introduced a need for greatly increased government revenue. It is only fair and reasonable that both Labour and National should provide pre-election what their policy is to be in that regard as the people of NZ have a right to know what lies in store, how it will affect them, and choose accordingly. CGT though would not provide significant revenue near soon enough for the current circumstances.

CGT + means test super. The best chance we have of addressing the issue

WP is a proven strategist, on top of a whole heap of parliamentary experience, good and bad. So the door to National is now suddenly ajar. That might just clinch Labour doing an Epsom or Ohariu for NZF somewhere up north.

I see him a a night watchman before Luxon gets in next year. Hope nationals policy won’t be mainly on increasing immigration to grow things which seems to Australia’s plan.

i see Australia already calling to open the borders to students with no plan in place for isolation. i hope our government does a trial with a university to see if they can isolate and test students to let them back in.

13
up

I'm a spoilt baby boomer aged 72 years and I've never been able to settle on one particular party, but I have mainly voted Labour because basically I'm a humanist at heart. I don't like seeing people suffer. However, I have to incorporate some sympathy for National because I've been a self-employed small businessman for most of my life and that's how I've made a living, being incapable of doing anything else.
So, a couple of times I've voted for National back in the early days when trade unions were bent on bringing businesses to their knees. I witnessed this in the mid to late 1960's when I worked two consecutive summer holidays at Hellaby's meat works at Westfield....my mate was sacked on the spot for refusing to join the union. Later on I worked for a time at Pacific Steel where the unions virtually ran the place. I've also voted a couple of times for NZF, including at the last election where I voted strategically to get rid of National; I can't stand the navy-blue-suited corporate set. Another thing I can't stand are those ultra-conservative religious types, especially Catholics like Maggie Barry and evangelicals like Colin Craig. I would hope for his sake that Todd Muller keeps his Catholicism to himself, as Bill English mainly did, and doesn't try to impose his loopy morality on everyone else if he ever gets into power.

FCM: I really sympathize; if you're having these problems with your son I can only suggest that it is a phase that many young people go through and try to be supportive rather than ranting and raving at him (easier said than done). Unfortunately, under the Key government liquor stores proliferated to the extent that they now exist on every street corner in vulnerable neighbourhoods; they are mainly operated by Indians who probably came to NZ under the guise of "skilled workers". But the Key government didn't care, that's one of the reason's I voted to get rid of it.

Tks for that. Parallel to most of it myself. Particularly how & why I voted last time.

Well said streetwise,you are correct about the corner liquor stores,a scourge on society,but loved by corporate alcohol companies etc.
But then most of the RTD type manufacturers would be classed as 'entrepeneurs' and to be encouraged.
As you say,mainly run by Indians,part of Nationals voter base,hardworking small business owners like Bhushan Kumar Bansal in this aerticle,ripping off his own people,essentially slaves;https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/112560189/super-liquor-mt-albert-worker....
And I am sure those owners take the RTDs home to their daughters so they can get on the piss and go to parties too.(sarc)
Question is,will Todd revisit Nationals policy on a voters worth,i.e is it still "2Chinese are worth more than 2 Indians"
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/107914931/jamilee-ross-and-sim...

Great post streety!

I'm sure a lot of people that vote both Lab or Nat will agree with 99% of what you've said.

Note how Maggie is retiring at this election, exactly 9 years after she got in, which just so happens to coincide with the timing when you get all the perks. She's a horrible piece of work that lady, up there with Coleman.

National need to kick Winnie to the curb.

Yes, but leaving the door open is smart. It might stop Cindy gifting Jones a seat in case that seat goes to National via a deal post election.

(DP)

Another religo “ social conservative “ leading the national party. Dinosaur.

Most New Zealanders when asked in the last Census said they were Christians

Where did you get that piece of misinformation ?
Religion does not play a major role in the lives of many of the population.. . Less than half represented themselves as Christians in the last census . The national party is and always has been riddled with “moral majority “ religious types , some of them secretly .

First big mistake;

“I love American politics, when I was a little boy I wanted to be the US president. I’ve got a different ambition now in three months time.”

Yikes, what's to like, let alone LOVE, I wonder?

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/nationals-new-leader-todd-mu...

Muller may just be our man to MAKE NEW ZEALAND GREAT AGAIN

How “ Great” is it similar like previous 9 years national government by not helping and favouring FHB ‘s to buy their own house at the right price ha.

Can someone tell me what he plans to do that is better than now ? - read a bit by Goldsmith the morning but Im none the wiser. All seems a bit vague and waffly - just "we are better people than the current lot" to implement the same ideas. I assume he's had plenty of time to think about this over the past few months as he's seems to have been working on getting to where he is now.

Your access to our unique content is free - always has been. But ad revenues are diving so we need your direct support.

Become a supporter

Thanks, I'm already a supporter.