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PM Key begins coalition talks with UnitedFuture's Dunne, ACT's Banks and Maori Party's Turia and Sharples; See their policies here

PM Key begins coalition talks with UnitedFuture's Dunne, ACT's Banks and Maori Party's Turia and Sharples; See their policies here

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the party’s policy against asset sales would be outside of any confidence and supply agreement with National.

The Maori Party does not agree with National’s mixed-ownership policy for 49% sell-downs of four energy State Owned Enterprises, but says if the SOE shares were to be sold, Iwi should be front of the queue for shares.

Sharples made the comments before he and co-leader Tariana Turia began talks with Prime Minister John Key on a possible coalition agreement between the Maori Party and National. Key had earlier had talks with UnitedFuture’s Peter Dunne and ACT’s John Banks, both of whom have said they would support a National government.

See the Maori Party's policies in our party policy section here.

See Key, Sharples and Turia talk to media in the Beehive before their talks in the video above.

Prime Minister John Key this morning said it was likely Mighty River Power or Genesis Energy would be first on the block, with the first sale of shares unlikey to be earlier than the latter part of 2012.

'Aware of the fiscal constraints'

Meanwhile Key said the parties were aware of the fiscal situation New Zealand was in as they discussed possible policy agreements.

“I think every political party that fought the general election is conscious of the international environment, the financial situation New Zealand finds itself in, and the need to provide security for New Zealand families,” Key told media in the Beehive on Monday afternoon.

“I think we’re all conscious of that. None of us are silly, and we recognise what’s required now. We’re working constructively with parties – we’ve worked in the past to try and deliver good outcomes. That’s what’s going to happen now, and hopefully we can take that forward,” he said.

Coalition talks

Key began coalition talks with the UnitedFuture, ACT and Maori parties on Monday afternoon after the final Cabinet meeting of the 2008-11 Cabinet.

On current polling - special votes have yet to be counted - National has 60 seats in the 121 seat Parliament, meaning Key needs ACT and UnitedFuture in order to have a Parliamentary majority. See the full results so far here at

Key has said he wants to continue an agreement National had with the Maori Party last term, and indicated that he might consider another memorandum of understanding with the Green Party.

Peter Dunne

First up was UnitedFuture's Peter Dunne, who won the Ohariu seat in Wellington. Dunne has been Minister of Revenue in successive Labour and National governments. UnitedFuture received 0.6% of the general vote on Saturday.

See UnitedFuture's policies here. What do you think Dunne should push for?

During the last term of government, Dunne led the government's move to abolish gift duty. 

"We looked at this originally from the perspective of maybe it was time, since it was last done in 1984, to review the thresholds [for gift duty up]. That was where this exercise began. It became clear during it, why waste your time reviewing the thresholds, this thing’s a dog...just get rid of it," Dunne told in August.

As Revenue Minister he was also fronting a government review of the fairness of New Zealand's tax system. See more on that here.

Another policy Dunne touted in the run-up to the election was a revamp of NZ Super, saying people should be able to access lower pension payments at 60 years of age. If people chose to take super later than 65, they would get higher payments. See article on Dunne's Super policy here.

Watch Key and Dunne talk to media in the video below.

'Less government'

Next up was ACT’s sole MP John Banks, a former National Party Minister of Police, Tourism and Sport.

Banks said he would push for the philosophy, concepts and principals of the ACT Party to be represented in the government. He joked about becoming Minister of Finance.

“Much less government, much less government expenditure, and much less borrowing,” Banks said when asked what he wanted from any agreement with National.

“I’m going to do the less government stuff because this week it’s my 65th birthday and I’m not taking the pension,” he said.

Watch Key and Banks talk to media in the Beehive in the video below.

See ACT's policies in our party policy section. What should Banks push for?

(Updates with John Banks, Sharples/Turia)

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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.


Now would be a good time to give Peter Dunne the Revenue portfolio...but only if he does something about his hair...he looks like Dracula.

mmmm it's more like a fat possum curled up on his head.   "Get a hair cut and get a job" that's what I love to tell him...

As special votes haven't been counted, here are the marginals;

Auckland Central, Nat margin is 535 with 6,600 specials 

Waimakariri, Nat margin is 395 with 2,446 specials

Waitakari, Nat margin is 349 with 3,413 specials

Christchurch Central, Lab margin is 0 with 3,717 specials

Do specials normally follow the same trend as the election result?  It would be quite hilarious if they sent everyone back to the drawing board :-).




The Green's usually do well with specials so they may pick up an MP, so 13 to 14 MPs, .....also NZF are a fraction of a % off another MP....

National are a fraction of a % off losing one....JK may yet choke....


I was surprised that Goff conceded on the night.  I take from that, that he didn't really want to lead a cobbled together govt.

I thought that specials don't follow the election day results and usually favour the Greens and votes from Oz Greens and Labour.  Happy to be corrected on that though.

Kate, which way those marginals fall is not going to make any difference to how may seats National and Labour end up with. That will depend entirely on their respective shares of party votes.

With only minor shifts in their percentages of party votes needed for NZ First to get another seat, or National to lose one, and with specials about 10% of the vote, the final result could get more interesting than it is. My thoughts are that it is possible for National to end up with 59, 60 or 61 seats out of a parliament of 120, 121 or 122.   

Special votes do tend to have patterns - the Greens for instance expect to gain on specials, but I have not taken a lot of notice of what the patterns are. I do have a question as to whether those who have left Christchurch for Australia or other parts of NZ may have an unexpected impact via the special votes.

Hmm, Chch central has (probably) fallen to the Nats, maybe the ones who have mostly left are Labour supporters...



No Steven, you are right for the wrong reason.  Everybody who's house was damaged by the Key driven earthquake were Labour supporters.  Another of the despicable plans by the Nats to wipe out he Labour vote..

Hubby worked in the polling booth on Saturday and did special votes.  Lots of younger people turned up to vote and did a special vote as they weren't on the role.  They hadn't realised you can't vote if you aren't enrolled so I guess there is a heap that will be disallowed.  Others turned up with their easy vote card at a polling station which wasn't the one for their electorate and couldn't be bothered with the paperwork involved in doing a special vote and just walked out again without voting. 

Peter Dunne is in a very powerful position if he chooses to assert himself.  National have 60 seats out of a total of 121, Banks can be totally relied apon, so as things stand a majority for National/Act.  If as usual Special votes favour Labour and they get an extra member then we have a hung parliment on any issue that Dunne chooses to assert himself.  If you look through United Future's policies, they suggest that they would like an open debate and analysis of asset sales before supporting them.  If he pushed for this then there is a possiblity that the asset sales could be stopped as no other party supports them.

Special votes do seem to favour the Greens the most....

At the last candidates meeting Dunne didnt seem at all opposed to Asset sales.  He knows his continued access to the trough is reliant on National playing dead in his electorate....the second Katrina Shanks asks for votes, Dunne is toast. He's saving for his pension, cant see him rocking a thing.....not unless Key wants him to as a way out...


Would it really affect his pension, he has been there for yonks.  Besides which he could still support them on most other issues.  Would Key really risk his continued support on other issues (infact risk his whole hold on power) just for the sake of a single issue?  Stoping the sales would be a far more signifficant legacy than warming a seat for 3 years.  That may mean more to Dunne at his age.

Something like 27years (1984).....dunno on how the MP pension works I think its pretty good and index linked? he's 57 so 3 more terms if he can I suppose....

The rest is opinion.....I have no idea how it will pan out, I cant see JK stepping down on it, especially when you look at the hole that is the Govn's CAPEX  budget....leaky schools and homes will need Billions, it has to come from somewhere.  What I do recall is while every other candidate was strongly opposed (except Katrina S, oh and Libertarians but then thet isnt a surprise) to asset sales Dunne  was quiet on it....I wouldnt hold out much hope in him doing a thing....




Here is a quote from Dunne referenced in the United Future web site

"Speaking to the Auckland Rotary Club, he said that given that National has a manifesto that includes asset sales, New Zealanders need to start a proper debate on the future limits of those sales.

“To this point there has not been a proper national debate beyond National saying yes and Labour saying no.

“We need a conversation that is more detailed and drills down into what New Zealanders really think are acceptable bottom lines,” he said."

Re needing the money for leaky schools that is just National spin.  You could chose any item from government expenditure and say it is for that.  Covering the lost income by dropping the tax rate from 39% to 33% is equally valid.  The need by the government for this cash should  be put into some sort of perspective.  We have the 96th highest government debt to GDP ratio in the OECD out of a list of 115 nations.  That is compared with most other nations we have a very conservative Govt Debt.

If Dunne makes too many ripples he might find himself out of a job.  He has to tow the National Party line and they will give him piecemeal as a thanks - he isn't that strong.

Totally agree on dune, which ever way the sweetest wind blows for him. But have been surprised by the media and their comments on the results, yes labour were thrashed but the national government now has less of a clear majority than last time and specials just may cut it to effectively 1 seat.

Is it possible I could get my wish of a totally incoherent government unable to act?

LOL....we would be so lucky....


Is it possible I could get my wish of a totally incoherent government unable to act?


The best you can hope for is a government that flies apart (possibly over major policy issues such as public private partnerships or asset sales) before their full three year term is up.

Updated with Maori Pty. they're not going to push their anti-SOE share sale policy with the Nats.


Iwi groups are lining up to buy shares in Might River etc ..... no resistance there

Just in case you didn't realise ......


National won the election   -   they have 60 seats.    Six Zero ......
They wil govern NZ for the next 3 years..... John Key is the President.

Noone cares about the flotsam and jetsam that lined up for media coverage and big excitement BEFORE the election.

In the interests of "Helping you make better financial decisions"  one should digest the above fact.  How will it affect interest rates?  Tax rates?  Growth?  Jobs?  Global influences? 

In America there is a tradition of supporting the President after election even if you voted for the opposition.  Grumblers and ungrateful attitudes do not bring prosperity to a nation.

.....  yes , National are the monarchists , the lovers of royalty & knighthoods ........

Which confused me somewhat , after the 2008 election loss , when the anti-monarchists ( Labour ) , had a smooth transition from one failed leader to a future failure . Queen Helen and Prince Michael  took off the Labour Crown & Tiara , and neatly placed them upon the domes of Phil Goff & Annette King ...... all very smooth , sleazey and regal 'like ......

....... where's the biffo , bring back the biff ! ...... we want a fight , some blood , lotsa bloody blood ...... you're supposed to be republicans you NZ Labour wastrals , not freakin' monarchists ! ....... fight dammit , you've cost us an extra $ 20 billion per year in unproductive government welfare spending , the least you can do is put up a decent ding-dong knock 'em down , drag 'em out fight for our entertainment .....

America. Now may be that is where he should go and stay.  He alraedy has a holiday house there.

Each of them will get to choose their lolly and eat at the grown-ups table.  Sad theatre.