Peters says he's called Bill English back, after National leader said weekend call went unanswered; English keeps speculation of Blue-Green coalition ticking over

Winston Peters says he's called Bill English back, after the National Party leader said a weekend call to his New Zealand First counterpart had gone unanswered.

"Media reports that calls from other political parties to New Zealand First and Winston Peters are not being responded to, are again simply false," an NZ First statement said Monday morning after English had appeared on several media outlets saying he had tried to make contact.

"First, the staff of New Zealand First have been, and are, in contact with staff from other political parties. Second, Mr English left a voice message on Mr Peters phone last evening, suggesting the two talk this week. As one would expect, Mr Peters has already responded to Mr English by phone," NZ First said.

"Third, preliminary talks will proceed this week when arrangements suitable to both parties are concluded. New Zealand First expects the same will occur if and when other parties make contact."

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern later confirmed she had also talked to Peters Monday.

“This morning I spoke with New Zealand First Leader, Winston Peters. We will look to hold a meeting between our respective teams later this week, while we wait for special votes to be counted," Ardern said.

“Special votes remain an important part of the process for the Labour Party with more than 380,000 votes yet to be counted. In the meantime, we’ll continue to prepare ourselves for coalition negotiations," she said.

‘Waiting for a Green light’

Meanwhile, English has kept the door open for talks with the Green Party, keeping to the line that it is the Greens who must make the next move while indicating there might have been early stage thoughts about which roles could be offered to James Shaw.

On Radio NZ’s Morning Report Monday, English was asked about the potential for National talking to the Green Party as an alternative to Peters. “We’ll see how that unfolds this week,” he said, although he added that didn’t necessarily mean anything would happen. “It takes two parties to negotiate anything.”

“The Greens have yet to indicate that they would seriously intend to negotiate,” English said. While there had been a lot of public discussion about the possibility of a National-Green government, there was doubt within the National Party that the Greens would shift to a position that they would even just talk with National, he said.

Morning Report host Susie Ferguson put to English that there was speculation Greens leader James Shaw would be offered Finance Minister or Deputy PM by National. English said there had been “no discussion of any nature related to propositions like that”.

But he then shifted slightly on that line: “I’m not going to say on or off the table, all I’m saying is there’s been no discussion [that] has progressed to anything like that extent.”

National was waiting to see the Greens give a clear indication that they would want a serious negotiation. “It’s a matter for them,” English said. While there might not be any significant proposal between National and the Greens the next few days, “let’s see how it unfolds this week as to whether there’s any discussions,” he said.

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22 Comments

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Some real desperation by the agents trying to astroturf this blue/green thing.

I never really considered a blue/green alliance .

But , who knows it could work if the Greens take the German model on board .

It gives them the opportunity to be inside the tent and influence things that way .

have you read any german green policies, they are not very different from NZ green policies, very left
be careful what you wish for
https://www.gruene-bundestag.de/service-navigation/english.html
TAX
Our principle is that those with greater capacities must take on more of the burden, and that the weaker members of society should pay less.

May be NZ Firsts negotiating time line is so short because all the deals have already been done and contingencies worked out. National may be so exercised because they don't know anything about it yet.

I do think the Greens really need to consider all options, they don't want to be a gimp party on the sidelines of a Labour/NZ First coalition. For as long as they have been in the game they have never really got anywhere to enforce real change. Perhaps they need to think outside the square and be more centre and more of a player as far as MMP is concerned, there would be potential to be a King or Queen maker for any Govt in the future if they weren't fixed so far on the left.

"When a creature has developed into one thing, he will choose death rather than change into his opposite."
Frank Herbert
Greens are hard-left socialists first and environmentalists second, and as such will always be sidelined in govt, even if they do manage to ever get into a coalition, ACT on the right are the same. Only parties of the centre (National, NZF and in the past Labour) wield any real power in MMP.

"Greens are hard-left socialists first and environmentalists second," That is patently not so and is something you cannot claim unless you were able to question many Green voters. Green supporters are from many backgrounds and have divergent views. I have spoken to enough persons that voted Green to know this is so.

Didge.. He meant the Green party, the paid up members and the apparatchiks not the voters. And he's right, just look at their policies and party structure. Too much SJW, not enough tree-hugging to get my party vote this time through.

Thank you pragmatist. Yes I knew that, but a party is more than the hopes and intentions of its dominant leadership members. Indeed, something the Greens and indeed most parties need to be far more aware of. They must learn more regarding why some vote for them and advance their policies accordingly.

Then why can't they countenance working with National?

Have you asked your Green-voting friends whether they think more will be achieved for the environment with:

A coalition in which the dominant party would have to reach and deliver on agreements with the Greens;
A coalition in which the dominant party would have to reach and deliver on agreements with NZF, but need not worry too much about what the Greens want because the Greens have nowhere else to go anyway; or
Greens in opposition?

Lemme think, oh yeah, seabed mining and oil drilling in the critically endangered Maui dolphin area and now, as it turns out, blue whale corridors, who's going to buckle on that?
Mining in conservation areas, who's going to buckle on that?
Agriculture not included in any climate policiy, whos gong to buckle on that?
Sale of land and houses to foreigners, who's going to buckle on that?
That is just a handful of policies that Nats and Greens are diametrically opposed on.
Who is bloody kidding who?
I say they sit this one out.

not to mention cutting the national herd, sure that will go down well with the core national country voter

"The simple fact is that we need fewer hooves on the land, creating less pollution for our waterways. Ten million dairy cows and beef cattle produce the same amount of waste as 141 million people, but without the same standards of waste treatment"

To do that they would need at least 5% of the population who consider the environment to be their only concern when voting. 5% who don't care if it is a left wing or right wing party in power, as long as they take care of the environment. I'm not sure it would fly. They would obviously lose some of their existing left wing supporters to Labour, I doubt they would pick up many new supporters from the right.

Greens would be fools to go with the Nats without some solid iron cast commitments to immediately implement some Green Policies such as nitrate levy and water export tax. Things that are just as hard for Nat to swallow as it is for Greens to support them. The chance to influence from within is a load of bs. At least their members will have something to how for their vote. If Labour takes them for granted while negotiating with NZ First maybe they should demand the same solid commitments from them also. Maybe all supporting parties should only give support for a year at a time - consequent on promises being delivered. Ah - politicians keeping promises - that'd be something to tell your grandchildren about!

Why shouldn't Labour take the Greens for granted?

They are granted, aren't they?

That's the position they have put themselves in by insisting that they won't countenance working with National. Labour has no need to offer them anything at all.

If Labour and NZ First work out a deal assuming Greens compliance, National may be able to offer them more than they can get from Labour. It would be a bitter pill for National to swallow but how far will they go to retain power?

“Special votes remain an important part of the process for the Labour Party with more than 380,000 votes yet to be counted"
Special votes won't make much difference even if Green or Labour win an extra seat, they will still need NZF to form a government and so will National.
Actually, the only way special votes would make a real difference is if National wins an extra seat at the expense of either Green or Labour, because then, a Labour NZF Green coalition would only yield 60 seats which is NOT a majority

Or they win an extra 2 seats , and don't need NZ first either. Both would be reversal of historic trends, and given reports of large numbers students enrolling and voting at the same time , unlikely.
But possible.

When a former green MP says that she would rather take hemlock than join with the nats then you know why the greens aren't in Govt.
Plenty of people out their who have lost family will be cringing at the thought of a MP saying that.

That's taking her very literally, and perhaps a bit unfair, given many people say they would rather die than do something.
But i would agree it is a silly thing to say, however all sorts of ex MPS (and ex P.M's) have been weighing in with their opinion. Not overly relevant or helpful, but snapped up by a hungry media.

Might be unfair,i don't know but she has proven that she is a right tosser,thank god she is gone.
After 9 years of sucking on the govt teat,what has she actually achieved.
NOTHING.

Jeepers, spotted your comment before any others and my instant reaction was to point out that David Seymour is not a she.