National and Labour make opening offers to Peters; Nats talks up regional development, while Labour touts hands-on economic management as attractive to Peters; 15% of votes still to be counted

By Alex Tarrant

A more hands-on approach to making markets work is up against regional development in the opening gambits of post-election coalition negotiations

Both National, and the Labour-Greens bloc, have a chance to form a government with New Zealand First on Saturday night’s results. Now the horse trading begins. Who will New Zealand First go with?

Let’s get the easy one out of the way first. Both should offer something to Peters to some extent on Pike River. So, the focus now turns to what Peters can get out of the two main parties, whether one side offers more of a chance to cement a ‘legacy’, and whether the next generation of New Zealand First MPs can be brought to favour one side or the other.

For National, offering some sort of regional development role looks attractive. Campaign chair Steven Joyce on Sunday morning said he identified with Peters’ “passion for regional New Zealand.” In terms of education, Joyce said NZF’s Tracey Martin’s focus on skills was attractive on paper (Martin was also wooed by Ardern, who mentioned education – Martin’s mother is an NZF stalwart).

But other than abolition of the Maori seats – or at least a referendum on that – it’s hard to see what National can offer New Zealand First from its own policy kit in terms of giving these to Peters and his team to take care of over the next three years (although boot camps come to mind); you’re now thinking, ‘what could Peters squeeze out of National?’

This turns into thinking ‘what can Peters get National to row back on?’ One is getting English to row back on his promise to raise the Super age. But that’s something happening in 20 years’ time, so won’t be that sexy in terms of legacy-building policies the next three years.

One idea - if Peters’ policy demands can be aligned with advice from an organisation such as the OECD, then National might be prepared to go along with them. This helps on regional development – the OECD this year recommended sharing the tax base linked to local economic activity. But this is the main one that sticks out.

Bill English, Steven Joyce and Gerry Brownlee (Joyce singled him out Sunday morning as one who knows Peters well – I’m not sure they get on terribly well, though) might have to bend over backwards to find more common ground.

My understanding is that English is wary about how much the public will tolerate in terms of allowing NZF a large number of policy stances that are nowhere near the National Party manifesto.

English on Sunday fronted up to media, saying previous coalition agreements under MMP had been “surprisingly diverse,” and each with arrangements that were “unique.” He argued a two-party coalition would be more stable than a three-way tie-up, because there would be a narrower range of issues to be resolved.

He was asked about a comment on Saturday night that National would look to continue New Zealand’s economic direction, and how that might fit with Peters’ policies. Could National shift on certain economic fundamentals? English said any matters raised by New Zealand First would be negotiated with them, but that the point he’d made was one he’d stand by.

“New Zealand’s had some real economic success. We would want to negotiate in a way that seeks to preserve the basics of that success. And that will be part of the discussion with New Zealand First, who I would assume are interested in ongoing economic success as well, even if there’s some different views about how that’s achieved,” he said.

Some things to keep in mind. English’s election night speech has been reported as ‘could have been nicer’ in relation to Peters. National has taken Northland back of NZF, and Peters is reported as suspecting the leak over his Super Saga came from National. Not a good starting point.

Using the levers of the State

To Labour, then. Monetary policy, regional development, power companies, immigration, climate change, railways, more railways, student debt, banning foreign house buyers, shaking up the Overseas Investment Office…the list is long.

Phil Twyford on Sunday morning said he believed Labour and New Zealand First were similar in that they wanted to take a more hands-on approach to economic management – “not afraid to use the levers of the State to make markets work better for people,” was the key quote. Ardern herself on Sunday afternoon referenced education and forestry among key areas of agreement.

Labour has many more existing policies that either match, or can be moulded to fit with, New Zealand First stances. Peters would have to be given the chance to tweak a few of them and be given the space to claim that he was the one who ensured these policies were enacted for the good of New Zealand and future generations. A bonus for him is that a lot of the heavy lifting will have already been done behind the scenes by Labour, taking workload off him.

And to top it all off, Peters and New Zealand First can become the saviours of rural New Zealand by ensuring the water tax doesn’t get through. The rural vote was a key target for Peters this campaign – he was in the end beaten to it by Bill English – but any current NZF caucus member with his or her eyes on the leadership someday, will welcome an opportunity for the party to appeal to this voter base and use ‘keeping Labour in check’ as a springboard for the provincial vote next time around.

This would require David Parker to rethink Labour’s position on the water tax. But given this was a key reason for Labour struggling to hit 36% (along with capital gains tax speculation – another Parker favourite), I’m sure Jacinda Ardern will find a way to make this work. This could be done by way of having Parker fronting those talks with Peters, who he gets on with: ‘David can you please take ownership of changing the government – this is much more important than any one policy.’

In this scenario, the Greens might have to accept disappointment – perhaps they’ll be allowed a Cabinet position, perhaps not. But they’ll have succeeded in their aim to change the government and, given they were staring down the barrel of oblivion a few weeks ago, might feel relieved enough just to accept whatever they’re asked to do by Labour.

Special votes could still be key

At the moment, a Labour-NZF-Greens government would hold 61 seats. That’s exactly what is required, so no buffer if anything goes awry. Everyone’s now looking at what the special votes, which amount for about 15% of the total count, will show on 7 October.

Typically, National loses a seat on these and the Greens gain one. Commentators are starting to talk of the possibility of National losing two, to be picked up by Labour and the Greens. Everyone’s very curious as to who the 15% turned to. These include overseas votes, and those local voters who enrolled at the same time as voting before Saturday.

Ardern on Sunday said it would be very hard to conclude coalition negotiations without knowing the final results, although talks would likely begin beforehand. English has said he expects to start talking to Peters sometime during the next few days.

If the Greens get an extra seat, NZ First will still be in front within the Left grouping, nine seats to eight. Peters will still be second-in-command and able to get some sort of price out of the Greens. For all those saying he can’t stand the Greens, Peters might enjoy the thought of being seen as keeping their ‘looney ideas’ (as opposed to his own common-sense policies) out, while letting the sensible ones through (rail, monetary policy).

I wrote a few months back that Peters would be more likely to turn Left and ‘rule the roost’ in a three-way tie-up with Labour and the Greens. That was when Andrew Little was still Labour leader. While much has changed since then, my underlying hunch remains the same.

One journalist at Sunday’s press conference with Jacinda Ardern said the word on the ground at Labour’s election night party was that Willie Jackson (Labour’s Maori campaign chair) actually met with Peters on Friday. Ardern skipped around the answer. But if that’s true, there might already have been change in the wind before Saturday. Unless, of course, National bends over backwards.

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?

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186 Comments

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Great article. Sums it up nicely. I see at lot more pros for a left leaning coalition if they can make it work with three parties.

A labour, Green, NZF coalition would be a very weak Government that wouldn't be able to put much into effect. It would just mean lots of headlines about bickering amongst the 3 of them. Two's company and 3 is a crowd

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I suspect you are going to be proved very wrong.

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Nope. a) When you look at the 3 parties policies there is a lot of common ground, more aligned than National. b) The Green's got beaten up badly and now have less MPs than NZF removing much of their strength to influence outcomes. c) Greens want National out as a priority and James Shaw is a pragmatist, plus many of the green loonies lost their seats so wont be in Parliament to stir anyway.

Then there is the long view. The chances of National winning a 5th term is a bit dodgy. On the other hand a second term for Labour and hence NZF s continuance of power/influence would be smoother./more certain.

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You're right. NZFirst is pretty much between Labour and the Greens. Far more common ground. https://www.politicalcompass.org/nz2017

Labour will have to do a 180º on reversing the April 2018 tax cuts if aligned with NZF who voted for this as did the Greens. The cuts will deliver a significant increase to NZ Super being based on 66% of the after tax wage so a tax cut equates to a super increase.

NZF will never agree to such a hit to it's voting base.

Labour will then need to find the substantial lost revenue to fund it's programs.

Watch this space !

Does it though? Is there an independent oversight that may stop Labour/Greens/NZF from borrowing 100% to fund all of their policies, then not being able to pay due to economic downturn (which could be very soon, doesn’t seem like there is a contingency plan for this either) then getting the ratings downgrade with higher interest rates and increases in taxes?

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Says a lot about NZers, doesn't, they'd rather have an extra $20 than forego it so it can go to the services that National have left to run down so much. I won't call them kiwis.

Are you Gareth Morgan's mate?
Totaly agree btw.

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He has certainly piqued my interest and I think that much of what he has to say will be very relevant in the near future. Was not quite ready to vote for him in this tight election though. Might next time if he sticks around and if I can get my head around some of his economic ideas better than I have so far.

Same here.

Nice emotive claptrap, but you're a mug if you think NZers voted on a single issue.

Actually some do, then another sizeable % vote tribally, ie if the Nats decided to eat everyone's first born child they'd still get voters voting for them.

Since when have labour ever needed to find revenue to cover expenses?

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Last time they were in power and had 9 budget surpluses?

The last time they were in power there was the last global boom economic period going on (probaly even the Greeks could run surpluses then), right before the GFC that National got stuck with. They also never adjusted tax bands and therefore pushed people because of inflation into higher tax bands. Also as they tried to cling to power, they also stuck National with a whole lot of commmitted Govt spending (e.g. Interest free loans etc). Labour were never tested and any comparison between the twos situation over the past 30 year is either niaive or deceitful.

Nothing like a bit, actually a lot of bias is there. Maybe you missed the first 6? years of National borrowing to cover the loss in tax revenue?

Now I'd consider this sensible/correct Keynesian economics but there is no reason to suppose that Labour cannot act in a similar "sensible" way.

PS Labour has said it would cancel the promised Nat tax cut, so big chunk of $s there to put into desperately needed services.

And National would have to do a 180 and a few backflips topped off with a twirl on too many policies to mention, so I'm not sure this poses a particular difficulty.

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If Winston goes with the Left, that government will invoke the fury of the global corporates, property owners/landlords, corporate farmers, & new immigrants. Also China won’t be happy not getting their chosen government back. Watch out.

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Proving for once and for all, who thinks they are in control of the world. When I read things like that, the words of Midnight Oil spring to mind "better to die on your feet than to live on your knees"

and Mr Goldman won't be blowing his Sax

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This is a just a list of all the people getting tax breaks and free handouts.

free handouts and tax breaks, should include dole bludgers, welfare queens, low income families etc.

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Landholders, speculators, real estate agents and banks are the biggest beneficiaries currently.

That's the welfare state which increases equality. The list above is all those that get over and above and decrease equality - accommodation supplement, tax-free capital gains, avoiding tax by offshoring profits, free irrigation schemes, free pollution they don't pay to clean up, free infrastructure that they have not paid tax for etc

Mate .. your side lost . Your party in particular (TOP) is all the way down in the crap , where it belongs. Gareth can bleat about how he is the only unselfish one on the planet until the cows come home. Do you guys have a concept of self-reflection ?

I don't have a side. My vote goes to the party with the best policies for the current situation.

If you can't see the above are causing issues for future NZ, then maybe it is you that needs to do some reflection

If Winston became deputy PM with Labour and Jacinda took some maternity leave you could end up with Winnie as acting prime minister.

A Maori acting PM! Been done a century ago.

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Coalition with NZF means making a statement about immigration. It is fairly obvious that everyone can see current policy is not perfect with foreign countries complaining about exploitation in NZ and housing and congestion issues in Auckland. To keep it as non-racist as possible a promise to match the average OECD legal immigration over the period of the next government could hardly be called racist and would also be a reasonable compromise to NZF targets. Then a crafty politician would leave the painful details of how to achieve it to an NZF minister of immigration.

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if he wants to ensure a legacy for NZ first and minor parties,
he should get whichever wants his vote to lower the threshold to 3% and do away with grandfathering seats
that way NZ first survives long after he is gone and also makes it easier for a range of parties to come into parliament whilst getting rid of the cup of tea deals

Revisit the recommendations from the MMP review that Judith Collins so arrogantly tossed aside

Who on earth decided it should be up to the incumbent politicians to decide the rules?

It's exactly the reason why we don't have a constitution.

Judith Collins

Yep. Lab, Greens and NZF wanted it - the National party and it's coalition partners didn't. Therefore, Judith concluded she didn't have enough votes to pass it;

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/135080/collins-defends-not-tryin...

I kind of don't care who did or didn't want it in parliament, their only duty was to pass it into law, it was utterly anti-democratic not to.

I suspect any deal with Labour would include leaving the Greens outside of Cabinet as usual.

Always the bridesmaid never the bride.

MMP probably ensures that no radical changes can be made. If Peters goes with Labour and Greens he will be able to keep them in check somewhat. I guess it is a good and a bad thing. Hopefully at the end of the day it will turn out okay. A Labour/Green/NZF should be fun to watch however a National/NZF government will be interesting too. It is a bit silly to have a system whereby the government is held to ransom by a minority party with a leader who failed to win in his electorate but at the end of the day any new legislation will need to pass a vote to get enacted so it should be mostly theatre.

national NZF, in my mind would not survive due to personality's involved.
do you think WP will forgive BE for getting him ousted out of the national party
or PB for releasing his super overpayment at the beginning of the election campaign
you only have to watch question time to see the clear dislike between the two parties that goes back a long long way

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Go Winnie! Make them grovel!

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A coalition with National would collapse at some early stage with the dirty tricks dept forcing a deliberate blow up so they could go to the people with the message NZF is unreliable and the cost of a new election is all down to WP. (Do you remember the dirty tricks dept WP?)

A coalition with Labour would probably last the 3 years as Labour would need that and much much more to undo the damage the China party has done to NZ society.

"This would require David Parker to rethink Labour’s position on the water tax. But given this was a key reason for Labour struggling to hit 36%"

Can't agree with Alex's comment, as Labour's water tax has wide spread support despite the vocal minority amped up by National's scaremongering.

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Guess what - they lied

In pre-election polling 75% wanted a tax on bottled water and 89% wanted clean rivers

Well - they lied coz 47% voted against it in Saturday's great-big-poll

Yep that'll be the so called blue/green National voters - as their desire for clean rivers is shallow at best.
But still, as you say 53% voted against National's trashing of our river systems that have resulted in third world quality drinking water in many Canterbury towns.

Water tax got majority support in self-selected online polls with weighted questions.

Peters has campaigned consistently on immigration, so his long term reputation depends on following through on this. Restricting immigration will collapse the housing market. Looks to me like Winston is a poisoned chalice.

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If by collapse, you mean fall back to what the average local wage can afford, then this is no bad thing

Oh I don't dispute that at all. But a niggle in the back of my mind is thinking we might not get that just yet. Personally I would love to see housing completely tanked so that money would flow into productive enterprise.

Winston is 72, and in 3 years time Winston First will be gone ,like United Future.
Ingsoc will remain...

Every few minutes the old man kept repeating:

'We didn't ought to 'ave trusted 'em. I said so, Ma, didn't I? That's what comes of trusting 'em. I said so all along. We didn't ought to 'ave trusted the buggers.

But which buggers they didn't ought to have trusted Winston could not now remember.

From Orwell's "1984" long after the Socialist triumph of Ingsoc

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Taking "3%" of buyers out of the market will collapse it? Not a very robust market, is it.

3% is overseas buyers, and does not include residents that immigrate here (not to mention trusts etc.), if the immigration tap is turned off it will be more than 3% out of the market.

Even LINZ itself when producing the data has made it clear it is not definitive. I reckon it could be well north of 10%, maybe not now, seeing as China has put the mockers on capital flight from their country.

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Sorry, to be clear I was mocking the 3% figure, but putting the brakes on immigration and related house purchases is exactly what needs to happen. Structural change cannot occur without someone's ox being gored, so let's not be naive about that, but delay will only make things worse when change does finally come.

haha my satire detector was clearly turned off :)

Irrespective of who he goes with, it will be almost perverse fun watching the likes of Queenstown stop in its tracks, the fruit growers up in Nelson not be able to pick their crops, growth slowly start to tip over, the tax take fall, services less well supported, all because of one man's policies who couldn't even win his own seat such is his polulatrity, and barely got over ther 5% theshold. Peter's will leave a lagacy alright unless National have the balls to pull out if it goes that way, and Labour are left in a position to set its own terms with him.

You are obviously unaware that it was Winston Peters who set up the ability for Pacific Islanders to come into New Zealand for seasonal jobs. You all seem unaware of his expression for immigration - "those that we need, not those who need us." His job training policies that will see our young training in areas that we need. It won't happen overnight obviously but attacking this seriously experienced man on sensible policies reflects more on those who have never taken five minutes to read his Policies or attending one of many open meetings all over the country. " You have to do what the country needs you to do" - re post election talks.

I was unaware of that DiDI but its irrelevant and just confirms what I mentioned elsewhere, whoever is in coalition with Peters will back off the degree of immigration reduction plans (i.e. It will not be 20,000 unless the economy suddenly doesnt need it) as WP is not a fool and knows that an extreme cut like that will eventually be his and his Govt's undoing when it hits business, the tax take, and then either more borrowing or wilting on spending promises. His best luck would be to have the economy slow and have no such need for the same about of immigration - but lets not wish for that.

By the way why would I read his policies when he can't say what they cost and backtracked hugely during his Espiner interview when a reporter that he couldn't bully, through logical questioning forced him to concede as such - you clearly didn't hear the interview yet still support the uncosted policies?

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Immigration to a trickle and overseas ownership a must or hes the biggest liar in town and NZ first is dead. If Nat has not got the stones to do this kick them to touch, and sub in the left as their policy is very similar. Would go as far to say this is why Nat is the largest minority vs a clear win.

Will Winnie sell tax paying kiwis out as well, or not?

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Pike River.

Winston has many bottom lines but nothing as personal as what he promised the families of the Pike River tragedy.
He can negotiate over rail to Northland, slashing immigration, lower age of retirement etc but returning those bodies and finding out the truth will be personal to Winston and those families.

Bill English, needs to be worried. He has shown little regard and side-stepped the issue on many occasions. He even chose along with several ministers to leave a possible solution sitting on the table for 8 months.
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/340144/pike-river-re-entry-now-i...

If NZF jumps into bed with National - I hope for once, he sticks to this promise.

Geologically Northland is much more stable than the rest of New Zealand and it is not sitting on a quiescent volcanic field as is Auckland. Thus long term, having a new port in Whangarei along with transfers of allied Auckland commercial operations will provide a more secure future for this very shake prone country. Having our largest population center spread over 50 plus quiescent volcanos is not wise.

Having to transfer 90% of whatever goes in or out of the futuristic Whangarei Port to Auckland or south does not immediately seem like a good idea.
Peter's promise was a desperate vote-grab for Northland,and it failed.

Some of us think longer than the next three years and Auckland's volcanoes are a risk especially Rangitoto. Here is a link providing information for non specialists.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8537487/Rangitoto-could-blow-again
Furthermore, if our rate of migration continues to increase at current exponential rates, we WILL need more ports anyway.

Be interesting Dobrydan when in Govt making that decision that he has to take some personal legal liability for the decision if something goes wrong, seemingly the big driver for National to not go in.

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THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE WANTED ........... and exactly what I voted for

A mature experienced wily old codger to blunt the exuberance of youth, and curb our Government .

Even though I dont really like him , Winston will be able to curb the extremism of Nationals utterly stupid BULL-RUSH IMMIGRATION POLICIES that have led to a housing crisis , or curb Labour's ECONOMICALLY DAMAGING , POVERTY- INDUCING WILD TAX AND SPEND- EVERYTHING -IN -SIGHT POLICIES .

Either way , New Zealand will be better off with Winston in a role as gatekeeper or referee

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I totally agree and as added bonus rather chuffed I have helped to upset Mike Hosking

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Winston Peter, if is more inclined towards labour will wait for the special votes counting as he too knows that will go up by one or two seats and can than prepare his argument accordingly (Though even now can go if want to) but if he is waiting for special votes will indicate that he is more inclined towards labour - whose policies too are in line with his than National (Important is Immigration where National wants to boost as their ecenomy growth depends on it and he wants to go another way and also foreign buyers, are only few of the polices which are poles apart) and if want to go with National will have to do it soon as Bill English wants as even BE know that after the special vote result situation may change and gap may reduce so will like to push.

Also Winston Peter supporters wants change and do not like national . Will he go with change or will he be influenced by media and experts (mostly National supporters) who will go on and on to try to influence him.

Wait and watch as WP is unpredictable.

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This was not a first past the post election.
At 49.2% more people voted for Labour, Greens, NZ First than National and another 3.8% wasted their vote on TOP, Māori etc. LGN have as much right to form a government as anyone else.
Surely MMP should be all about representing the widest variety of people possible. Once the specials are counted Labour and Greens are likely to pick up seats and National lose seats.
And where is all this legacy, last election for Winston etc coming from - He will still be standing in three years time.
Finally there is also no requirement in law for Winston to negotiate with the highest polling individual party.

Exactly. All these people complaining that Winston Peters gets to choose the government need to realise:
1. It is called negotiation, and the parties with the most votes get the most say. Winston Peters does not get to "decide" government.
2. The alternative is for a minority party to govern.

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Migration is one of the biggest problems this country has and NZ First is more aligned with Labour in that regard, with both wanting to slash it - that would quickly fix the housing crisis.
All the urban seats where the Chinese and Indians have settled had the highest party votes for National. If there had not been such excessive levels of migration over the last few years National would have had perhaps 150,000 to 200,000 less votes!

This may be the time for are view of MMP and include whether we should follow Australia on restricting voting to citizens.

It may even get one 67 year old I know, here since 1952 to become a NZer.
:-)

Yes BigBlue, and WP is also not stupid. He would well realise that in NZ''s current situation 20,000 immigrants would kneecap growth, then the tax take, and then the provision of services - not a good way to remain in Govt. Demanding such a big reduction in immigration in opposition to win the niave anti-immigration vote is one thing, but "negotiating" something in between that and what doesn't hurt the economy is smart. And the one thing WP definitely is, is political smart.

I am certain whether it's left or right lead, immigration will not be reduced to the likes of 20,000 unless thats all the economy requires over time (likely from a slow down that we shouldn't wish for) - Labour could attempt it, but then eventually within a year the reality will come home to bite - I have customers who would cease to exist because NZers dont want the job (and don't say they should because then youre saying your happy for a lot of our food to be imported) , and other industries where they aren't enough of them to be able to growth and attract capital.

For New Zealanders to have concerns about countries with massively larger economies than ours is not racist, it is just another management issue. However, it is one we must handle much more wisely than we are.

One thing I will never understand about NZers is why they demand such high standards from the All Blacks but when it comes government, social issues, productivity, innovation, education, health etc, etc they are forever content with mediocrity.

Yet another boring, predictable, anti-change election.

Predictable?
Do tell us the result...

We already know the result - more of the same. Either way.

MM - Actually it would be more relevant if the voting public had higher standards and had a look into the real facts before voting.

Had the in laws around Sunday night - all national voters.

Asked them all if they knew what Double Dipton, Todd Barclay, Murray Mccully, Jian Yang, Govt Debt levels, Al Jazeera meant - not one of them had a frigging idea - I was talking authentic frontier gibberish as far as they were concerned but "house prices are high"

On an aside the Herald has gone Full Metal jacket on the Nats. Hosking, Prebble and associated items advising NZF to go with Nats even suggesting on Sunday with their review of the election that experts were divided "on Steve Joyces hole" - Hello, anyone there. Poor old Herald has evolved into something to start the fire with on a cold winter morning or use as a weed mat in the garden.

You are so right about the media- in the 80s there were something like 30 main media outlets worldwide, now there are 6. Take a look at who controls them and their political idealogy, and you know you cant trust them. Sad, but true.

We find ourselves with the best outcome possible whilst dealing with generally untrustworthy politicians.

I hear you Smalltown. It's a frustrating exercise to have to listen to rants from the ones who think they're politically engaged but actually don't have a clue what they're on about or don't do their policy homework.

And Mike Hosking is not a substitute as viable source of information. It's a sad state of affairs he regarded as such.

The ignorant and the greedy (both go hand in hand very nicely) make up the majority of the National voting base. Throw in a small percentage of devious and highly intelligent individuals who would score very highly on the Levenson Self-Report scale and you have a group of the population that the Chinese are very happy with indeed.

My mother said if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all whereas my father said make sure any biscuit given to you is dry before you eat it. Both pieces of advice have helped me when in left wing company.

Well said Ex-Expat.

A comment lacking in any substance and without any relevance to the topic. Exactly what one would expect from the type of individual that you appear to be (based only on your lack luster comments of course).

The mere fact that you would classify yourself as either right or left wing shows quite clearly that you don't really understand the rules of the game and are simply a piece to be moved around the board at will.

I suggest that the company you keep may have instigated the soggy biscuit warning.

Mike - the election ain't over yet, Labour could well still have to front. I think the big difference between our expectations as NZers is that they consider the ABs have enough cash to do everything they need to do, where as they also realise that NOT ONE GOVT ON THIS PLANET (maybe temporarily the Norwegians with their oil reserves) has enough money to fix all the "socials issues, productivity (a global not just NZ issue), innovation, education, health etc etc". Probably about 46% odd understand that whilst the rest are either struggling or are taken in by fluffy visions ("we will do it even better...we will be fairer") and no policy to increase that income other than tax its citizens more which history shows is always a self defeating strategy.

To start with just about any tax increase policy I am seeing from any party is talking about taxing those paying little or no tax and not a general tax increases.

However in the 50s and 60s the tax levels were quite high, yet economies did OK.

Sweden, high taxes, doing OK.

Ps I wonder if you look at the tax dodging then v the tax dodging now how it would look in terms of lost revenue?

The ABs is just a borderline-weird national obsession.
We demand excellence of a team that dominates a mediocre, minority global game.

Just wanted to get that off your chest as a complete unrelated subject Fritz ?

And why not indeed, best not to let these things fester.

The match has started :)

Opening offers to Winston........

Circus has begun and media will be busy with speculation and many may try to influence but WP is WP

Question is will he go with his supporters who voted him or not as it is those people who voted for him and put him in Power.

He'll string everyone along for as long as he can, revelling in the limelight the whole time.

He's a narcissist and a liar.

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I take it you don't like Winnie? I think he is the only one with BALLS!

Davo36 - yep that's the billshitter covered, how do you regard Winstone?

Interesting that no one is talking about the possibility of either Labour or the Greens LOSING a seat in the special votes and consequently becoming incapable of forming a governement with NZF (Lab-Gre-NZF would then only have 60 seats)

More chance of National losing a seat with special votes...often cast by students enrolling on the day and overseas voters. What does National offer this block of voters more than Labour or Greens?

Agreed but National losing a seat has very little consequence, Labour or Greens loosing a seat would be a terminal blow

Agree

I’m not sure that the greens can lose just a seat, it might be all 7 seats that they lose if they drop 0.8%. Even if labour pick up all of that 0.8%

Because historically that would be unheard of.

Surprising that National & Green-Labour are making "offers" to NZF. Negotiating 101 would suggest to start by LISTENING to the party one wants to come to an agreement with, first

They probably need a Tarot card reader, baubles, jester, and ballet dancer to start listening to NZF demands (and working out what they want)

Sounds like they need me

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/97189141/clarke-gayfords-fishi...
Winston and his brothers were fishing out of Whananaki 20 years before you were born sonny. Best you stop tweeting.

They look like they’ve just come off filming for the Block.

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The drums are beating already

Mike Hosking doing Bill English's bidding, busy "hosking" things up on NZ Herald accusing NZ First of being "hostage takers"
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11926122

meanwhile deep in the bush on satuday night James Elliott over on newsroom
https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/09/23/49719/election-tv-puts-captive-aud...
"members of the public are quietly watching Hosking pontificate his way through his own answers to his own rhetorical questions and later Hilary tries to throw a question to them. But that’s when Hosking shows off his newly-acquired ventriloquism skills and answers for them

Don’t worry hoskings your house and your mates houses might only go down a million. It only went up because of immigration and overseas investors so it was never going to last anyway as we can see now with house prices dropping. So national HASNT done very well because the economy relies to much on high house prices so the economy will crash. All this from national. So give labour , Greens and peters a chance because they’ve always been against the one mess wonder that national created . National voters and greed over a houses and buying votes with immigration. It COULD NEVER END WELL. As we can see now. You don’t make a economy from sucking people into high house prices that also would never last. Did they really think Overseas investors would last forever and a country could go from boom to boom to boom. Now we no not possible. How anyone can pat national on the back with a straight face blows me away and to think giving them another 3 years in unbelievable . Peters is waiting for the special votes because labour, greens and himself would probably benefit. Then he’ll do a easyer more long lasting deal with labour. And national will fall apart and in time national supporters will see that this hole making house bubbles tryll was a total waste of time on the country as a hole and vote for labour in the future. The writings on the wall. Fairness to all wins over greed

The National party will do anything to stay in power. Joyce and Brownlee and company are not going to give up being first at the trough without a fight. They'll throw Bennett under the bus no problem and possibly Bill as well .

Would they eat the whole rat and give Winston the job of PM ?

If I was WP, Jacinda would be more of a push over than Bill..

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I doubt it - Jacinda has scruples whereas Bill will sell his soul to avoid losing office - again.

I doubt Kelvin Davis, David Parker and Grant Robertson et al are going to let Jacinda make 'Captain Calls' on negotiating with Winnie. ;-)

Overseas voters vote national predominantly

Overseas voters also vote Green. I hope to see Greens and National both pick up a seat each and NZF lose two. Now that would be interesting.

Unlikely but that would mean a Lab-NZF-Green coalition is dead as they would only have 60 seats

National / green would be a stronger coalition, winston has gone a bit dementia like lately and by making James shaw minister of nothing important, national can govern with out whiskey boy

National, Greens and dementia do belong in the same sentence, but differently.

A National/Green government is exactly what this country needs.Unfortunately Greens get behind people like Me Tu instead of people like Kennedy Graham and David Clendon.

Hopefully someone will form a party focused on the environment and with the intellect to understand the needs of the economy as well.

It's called TOP

I would support national / greens, I think there is a good chance of this happening if winston gets off the wagon again (and again)

Typical right winger view point this one IMHO. The problem is National has no interest in things green, nor fixing the social issues, so really the divide is so huge and fundamental that I cannot see it.

So while yes I somewhat agree (and this is why I left the Green party and joined TOP) I just cannot see it happening.

Sorry Steven you are right, I will only be happy when the rivers run brown with radiation and all solo mothers are made to move into nunneries. Get over your moral high ground ASAP please.

It's simply not true that "National has no interest in things green nor fixing the social issues". They may not be acting on those issues in the way some would prefer, ie throwing vast amounts of other people's money in random directions and crippling all forms of economically productive activity, but that does not mean they are not interested and it most certainly does not mean they're not doing anything about it.

No, they found an absolutely genius way to deal with those "social issues" - pretend they did not exist.

The NZF Caucus will be thinking about their future. Winston is unlikely to be campaigning in 3 years time given how doddery he is getting. If they want to survive NZF need to stake out a viable part of the political spectrum - the left is sewn up by labour and hard left green, so for NZF the obvious territory is as a socially conservative centrist party pandering to geriatrics disenchanted by pretty much all change and everything politically correct. That brand would only be eroded by going with Social Justice crusaders of Labour/Green. Winston will probably have to go along with his caucus's wishes as they would have nothing to lose from rolling him (and potentially much to gain through elevating their individual profiles once he is out of the way), he may get rolled anyway in a few months as he has outlived his usefulness and has never been a team player.

NZF/Green/Labour would also be very vulnerable to instability, dissenters and by-elections with just 61 or 62 seats.

So given that the real power now resides with NZF caucus rather than erratic Winston we will most likely see NZF-National forming govt.

No chance of a roll. Bill English said that he envisaged a potential Cabinet with 1/3 of its composition being NZF Ministers. They need that kind of experience to take the party forward.

No, NZF will get the Cabinet post bribes regardless, and NZF caucus need to elevate their individual profiles. Winston with his dictatorial diva-style approach to leading NZF and in his (likely) swansong term will always stand in the way of NZF caucus ambitions. Having him in a ministerial role (that his increased age and well known laziness in previous govts does not suggest he would do well) only hurts public perception of NZF and destroys opportunities for younger blood to get experience and increase their profile.

Peters only has power in NZF as long as he provides jobs for his caucus - given that he has now done that for probably the last time his usefulness is at an end. He is now more of a liability to those caucus members than a boon. Shane Jones needs to get rid of him soon to have any hope of building an enduring post-Peter's brand.

What do you mean bribes? Are you saying that National can't collaborate with others? You must have a rather Machiavellian perception of them.

The one thing anyone new to being a Cabinet Minister needs is strong and confident mentoring, reassurance and someone who can troubleshoot effectively. Only WP can bring that experience and nous to his MPs.

His MPs get that - there is more respect for him than I suspect you imagine all over Parliament, let alone in his own caucus.

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I'd have thought first up with Bill will have to be the scalps: Steven Joyce and Paula Bennett.

Useful to re-read NZF 2017 Budget speech;

http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/rt_hon_winston_peters_budget_speech_2017

In the 45 minutes after 2 o’clock this afternoon viewers and listeners have heard some really bad news.

But I’ve got some good news for you.

This will be Mr Joyce’s first and last budget.

WP for DPM and Finance Minister? Although with respect to DPM he pointed out "been there, done that" on Sunday - but that doesn't mean he won't want PB relegated to the backbench whilst she gets investigated for the breach of his privacy.

That said though, how to deal with Bill's part in the Todd Barclay affair and the still unanswered questions about whether he misled Parliament? Might well be more to come on that.

Having fun Kate ?

Indeed. How boring would it have been had we returned same 'ol, same 'ol. This is proper collaboration in action.

And a big thank you for your well researched and highly respected inputs Kate. Andrew.j is another that I read with much respect along with others.

You're welcome, Didge. Hope it made folks treasure our democracy that little bit more. The media to my mind also improved by leaps and bounds this campaign - so a shout out to them too. They're onto the post-truth politics that Key/Joyce promulgated and BE (reluctantly, I think) followed and they reported on it well to my mind.

Sad thing is it delivered Bill a result he obviously never expected - not the best of lessons for him - but I think he'll be thinking hard about nonetheless. Catholics have a sacrament of confessing their sins and thus gaining absolution to start afresh. He'll be contemplating just how many times such absolution can rightfully be expected.

Not so sure about democracy, Kate, over 2 million Kiwis voted, now 1 man will decide who will govern

Tough - that's the way it works - National didn't get over the 50% popular vote and they didn't get 61 seats - in which case its called a hung parliament - like it or lump it - that's the system

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Check yourself Yvil.
Did you have a problem with David Seymour, Peter Dunne, or the Maori party choosing the government last term? Because that's exactly what happened.

This is MMP and all you cry babies now realising that Saturday was actually a terrible result for the National Party, are up in arms about it.
Had it been the status quo on Saturday, we wouldn't of heard a chirp. But now that Winston has the Nats by the balls, MMP is suddenly undemocratic.

bang - don't forget Yvil is an import complaining about our system

Have called the burn unit, they will be expecting you soon Yvil

Do they have capacity?
I mean, with funding constraints and everything.

What the DHBs should now be doing is allocating priority according to revealed voting preference. Everyone that voted for less funding, to the back of the queue.
But surely they should have private coverage, I guess. Surely. Why else you you vote to defund the service unless you have an adequate alternative.
Or we could look at MoH figures and see that just over 1/3rd of adults in NZ have private healthcare insurance and think "holy s**t, these people are idiots."

As long as you also porportionately reduce their taxes I wouldn’t complain.

Per capital health spend is up 3.4% in inflation adjusted terms and overall health spend is at an all time high for NZ under National. Is this that scaremongering that some people were talking about?

True words.

But, by what inflation measure?
Is it CPI, by any chance? How that applies to Hospitals, I have no idea.

Also, what is the growth in life expectancy, currently?
What is the growth in the higher need population?

It's all very well to say that on a per capita basis we are spending more, but without normalising for the increases in Healthcare costs and the change in demand for services it's a bit pointless.

Didge: I'm fairly sure 'Kate' is not a person; has to be one of those new-fangled internet-bots - no human could have read so many relevant links and then remember where they were. Spelling and grammar ain't too bad either. Must be computer software but I just can't work out who programmed her - seems to have a mind of its own.

Why choose a corner? Why not pick a position, bill by bill, and get what you want every time without the bayonette to your back. The "strong and stable" coalition goverment is always going to be a myth because political views don't directly align and tollerance of dissenting views is actually the sign of a strong government.

It's a definite possibility and might force an early election as Mark Sainsbury points out;

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/09/mark-sainsbury-bad-blood-...

Would going to the polls again when the majority party he crowned with C&S proves itself, yet again, as unable to be trusted see NZF get more votes? I suspect so.

The skeletons in National's closet are an absolute treasure trove for Winston Peters. Including the one that sparked the by election in Northland;

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

Note the Chinese connection at the end - just one of many for National Party ex-Parliamentarians and sitting MPs.

Tired of holding the doors to the closet?

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/09/bill-english-s-chief-of-s...

Or has JK found him a job with a Chinese connection he can't refuse?

Whoever it is for the next Govt.. Immigration will be cut ! Get in NOW..

Given only 4 or 5 Labour MPs have any government or pre 2008 experience, WP's background may be useful to Labour. May even be worth giving him the PM. They could start the water tax by taxing water exports (ie bottled water) and maybe logs also. I would suggest confining land ownership to NZ natural citizens but that might be a step to far even for the Green radicals. Given the abuse of immigrants, I suspect reducing immigration may have a positive effect: nobody knows how many of our homeless/living in cars are immigrants.

I want to frame this from Trotter and put it up on my wall.

“But he still did not think it was enough to go against the "powerful" 46 per cent of people who voted for National.

"Look at who you would be denying if you went with Labour and the Greens assuming you are Winston. Because these just aren't any 46 per cent these are the most powerful people in the country.

"These are the people who owns things, the people who run things, the people who say things and expect people to do things and pretty damn quickly. To take 46 per cent and say sorry were going to ignore you - that's a pretty big thing to do."

Which ever way NZF go, imo this will be their last hurrah.

Amen to that outcome. What amazes me more is that people vote Greens when they are forever the bridesmaid. I must ask my brother sometime whether he has a masochistic streak in voting for them. It’s like accepting that the participation award in year 7is as good as it will ever get.

It is very evident that far too many persons in New Zealand are extremely ignorant recarding basic environmental issues. For example how many readers are aware that if households compost their biodegradable rubbish, they can reduce their carbon footprint; indeed often to the degree they can cancel the outputs of one or more family cars. Then there are the many farmers that burn their woody wastes presumably for aesthetic purposes. Bacteria etc that break down woody wastes require nitrogen to do so (creating what is called nitrogen drawdown). Thus if such wastes are placed in suitable places they can be used to help keep excess nitrogen out of our waterways. Eventually detriforms die, thus releasing the stored nitrogen (and other nutrients) back into the environment where wisely placed plantings (hedges, windbreaks or whatever) will absorb it and their ever falling leaves will help to keep it on the farm. It is only one tool of many, but an under used one. Conversely, burning merely places the carbon directly into the atmosphere. Then we have the real dangers of climate change which is already happening especially in the northern hemisphere and now here in the south. I suspect our current high rainfalls will become the norm if not much worse, and we are not immune to cyclones. There will be enormous problems of world food supply and it is quite possible our elites will rather export our foods than feed our masses. The Irish famine provides a disturbing example. Therefore, I hope that the greens remain because we need environmentlly aware influences. There will be climate induced catastrophes in coming decades, if not years, and whomever is in power will probably make silly kneejerk responses.

Green policy pretty much set the agenda this election.

LOL. left-right wing vote proportions only shifted about 1-2% vs 2014, 2011, 2008... (National+ Act: 58+5, 59+1, 60+1, 58+1 seats) so essentially nothing changed, except the usual left wing in-fighting as greens and labour poached each others voters (People's Front of Judea vs the People's Judean Front). Greens declaring themselves the party for fraud nearly wiped them out, and Winston having slowly poached a few votes off disaffected labour and national then proceeded to nearly wipe himself out as increased exposure highlighted his incoherent ramblings.

The media talked Jacinda, Greens and social justice/environmental issues up endlessly, plastered their soft-pedalling photo-ops on front pages and fawning soft-ball interviews on airwaves, avoided asking them any awkward questions about policy, while aggressively lambasted anyone outside their orthodoxy, yet ultimately the electorate ignored this massive left-wing publicity machine in favour of steady-as-she-goes economic stability.

Again it has been demonstrated that the left wing supporting media+twittersphere luvies in their leafy urban enclaves and echo-chambers are far removed from understanding or representing the views and concerns of the majority of NZers. Their severely partisan politics only hasten their slide to irrelevancy and death. Labour will likely remain in opposition until they relearn to ignore the censorious left and refocus on the hearts and minds of the centre where elections are actually won.

For a more studied statistical analysis:

Where Labour won their extra ten percent
http://vjmpublishing.nz/?p=4799

They are up by 13 MPs - every other party is down - the swing went toward Labour, without a doubt.

Where is the base data coming from for this study? Can anyone obtain it? What detail is available? With enough cross matching on Facebook profiles etc it may be possible to identify individual voters or at least profile people. "Sorry young visitor to my house but based on your education and religious belief status, plus the way you're eyeing up my cat I believe you have an 86% propensity to be one of the 580 TOP voters in my electorate and you're not welcome, Fluff Off". Scary stuff

"Again it has been demonstrated that the left wing supporting media+twittersphere luvies in their leafy urban enclaves and echo-chambers are far removed from understanding or representing the views and concerns of the majority of NZers."

Ha, you must not read the Herald.

You haven't been listening to the ZB airwaves - Mike Hosking, Larry Williams, Rachel Smalley, Tim Beveridge - absolutely definitely not left wing - disparaging of everything that is not National

What about Leighton Smith? On the odd occasion that I have had my ears insulted by his outright reactionary, sh*t stirring views in a number of years, I have had to go and wash my ears out after.
How come ZB has become a refuge of old, conservative, white males?

They are where they want to be - not as numerate but nonetheless in the box seat with the newbies installed this election, as was intended.

The three new MPs: Mark Patterson, Shane Jones and Jenny Marcroft get in at the expense of previous members of their party caucus. One can only assume for good reason.

The sad part is that, whether we voted for National's or Green-Labour's policies, half of these policies will now fly out the window in an effort to reach a compromise with NZF to form a government.
Whether we're Nats or Green-Labour supporters, that's not what we wanted

Then you should have just voted for labour instead of only voting for high house prices and high immigration like the 46% of national voters did. Bit narrow minded considering national has started a crash

FYI Labour got 10% less votes than National, what difference would it have made if a few more thousands of Kiwis voted Labour ? None

The main thing is 54% voted not to have national and they understand mmp

Ali Ikram "For overseas observers, in NZ elections, we all vote then take the ballots - chuck them out - and ask a man called Winston Peters who won"

I'd say most (non-Anglo) overseas observers are already pretty familiar with proportional representation.

Labour ran on a campaign of fixing child poverty and curing homelessness. These are worthy goals but the existential crisis for Labour is that we don't have enough poor children or homeless for this to be something worth changing the government over.

Not yet, but National is working on it...

Don't worry Labour have still got Phil Goff in charge of Auckland. Labour will ensure lots of rent rises and homelessness over the coming 3 years. They'll be ready next time.

That's just a direct lift from that idiotic article by Damien Grant in Stuff.

We've got enough poverty and homelessness.
The problem is the lack of voters who think this is worth changing the government over.
Still 54% don't support National's direction -so there is hope.

This is like saying 64% don't support Labour & 94% don't support Green

And 97.8% don't support TOP.

Labour said they would legislate against child poverty.Can't wait to see how that policy is worded.
Another unworkable policy.

Listening around the traps and listening to the radio it strikes me if Winnie goes with the Nats, he will p off half of his voters, if he goes with Lab/Greens he will p off half of his voters.
Can't help but think his natural home is on the cross benches.Can't help thinking we might end up with a minority govt, which would be Nats, Lab/Greens opposition and Winnie running the shop from the middle. I would not put it past him.
Snap election next year.

You'd have to wonder why WP would play that game. It would split his votes at the snap election and put him out of power for ever. Or alternatively it would give National enough time to split the NZF group and avoid an election at all.

Winston will be looking to wield as much power as he can, it is his last chance. He could probably be bought off with the offer of being PM or something, he likes shiny things. He won't win too many more scraps now as I think age and a lifetime of tobacco and whisky may be catching up with him (and I used to think he was immortal). He is going to want to make as big a mark as he can, he is going to want to leave a lasting impression. I think he might be ready to pack up and go fishing before too much longer, to be honest.

I would let him go with the Labour/Greens bloc and play the long game. There's no upside playing with the proverbial pig in mud.

Nah, Nats are welcome to him

Exactly right Ex Expat, and that's the reason why sitting on the back benches trying to run the Govt isn't going to work. National would almost certainly arrange a snap election as soon as something hit a WP road block, and irrespective of who wins that election, one thing is for sure, NZF would be gone. WP isnt that dumb and I wonder why some people talk about it as a possibility other thsn for 5 mins..

Where do you get the idea that half his voters were anti Nat? I suspect that NZ First lost party votes to National from the Regional areas that didn't want a bar of Labour and the Greens in the box seat post Jacindamania seven weeks out from the Election. The Regions however know that WP will be there for them as Regional growth and development are very much near the top of his list. Interesting that Bill English has now said there will be more focus on the Regions.

Saturdays great-big-poll demonstrated the voting populace prefer being lied to

One month before the election Ardern said they would introduce an Auckland specific petrol tax to deal with congestion and grid-lock. Labours popularity rose. Instead, come the final election stats Auckland’s National's votes increased – see New Lynn and Te Atatu – In other words Auckland voters don’t want their grid-locked transport concerns addressed – or their housing concerns - prefering instead to stick with the tried and true-blue current situation which can only get worse – in future I will no longer express any sympathy for the long suffering Auckland commuter stuck on the motorway network - given the chance, Auckland voted over-whelmingly for business and usual

Guess what – they lied
In pre-election polling 75% wanted a tax on bottled water and 89% wanted clean rivers

Well – they lied coz 47% voted against it in Saturday’s great-big-poll

I must remember to remind them of this

More and more arrivals over the coming months

Is it really going to be Winnie to decide - or his MPs and Board? He referred more than once on Sunday to needing to have discussion with them. Could he be rolled if he doesn't toe the majority line?

He has a rather eclectic group of backgrounds - aside from 3 teachers - including one sheep farmer. Congrats Mark Patterson. You will be missed on some internet forums but I look forward to following your journey as an MP.

How low will National stoop? The crown is to contest the awarding of Teina Pora the adjustment for inflation on his compensation. Why did they wait till today to drop that one on us? These people are not fit to govern.
Yes, you can take it I am damned angry about this.

make that 2. Sometimes politicians have no choice but to be hard-hearted - this isn't one of them. Maybe they should lock up the cabinet in prison for say 1 day and then ask them again. Where is their sympathy?

A certain Winston Churchill quote springs to mind, I'm sure you all know it....

Is that "But in the morning, madam, I will be sober".

Sobriety never helped anyone.