'Policy is everything,' Kingmaker Winston Peters says after first heavy round of talks held Sunday; English and Ardern say talks were positive, set to carry on through Monday

'Policy is everything,' Kingmaker Winston Peters says after first heavy round of talks held Sunday; English and Ardern say talks were positive, set to carry on through Monday

“Policy is everything” is the message from New Zealand First leader Winston Peters as government formation talks carry on today.

Peters met with National Party leader Bill English, then Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern and their respective negotiating teams in the Beehive on Sunday, after the final voting results were announced on Saturday.

Peters told media it had been worth waiting for the special vote results, which saw Labour and the Greens each pick up a seat at the expense of National. Talks are set to continue this morning – with Peters saying negotiations could go into the night. He said he was still aiming for a decision by Thursday.

Talks will be along the lines of “policy by policy,” Peters told the media on Sunday. Asked whether Ministerial roles had been discussed in the initial talks, he replied: “Let’s sort out the things that really matter. Policy is everything. Otherwise it’s just about personalities, isn’t it?”

He said the nine government permutations that he had in mind were all still possible. “If you don’t keep your eyes wide open as to all the possibilities, you may have missed a great chance for your country, for the country’s social and economic progress.”

Both English and Ardern said their respective talks with Peters and his team on Sunday had been positive, although neither answered further questions from the media. Peters said a lot of work had been done.

English had included National deputy leader Paula Bennett in his negotiating team on Sunday, with trade spokesman Todd McClay sitting out. Ardern’s team included Annette King, replacing former Finance Minister Michael Cullen who has gone overseas. Otherwise, the teams remained the same as Thursday last week.

Both McClay and Cullen are seen to have good relationships with Peters. McClay through his father Roger, who was a close advisor to Peters, and Cullen for maintaining that Peters should not be censured by Parliament’s Privileges Committee over the Owen Glenn donation saga.

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Winston the Wily. Was thinking that if Winston is all about policy, then the natural fit is Labour/Greens, but if he is about the biggest prize, if he wants to score a big hit, have the most effect, it is National.
It's like Labour/Greens are the little spiker, National is the old 14 point stag.
I hope he sticks to his words and does make it all about policy.

Great policy wins - what policies matter? Entering Pike River & move Ports of Auckland are not significant policy. So minimum is:
1.A published Population & Immigration policy
2. Many more labour inspectors to clear up rorts and corruption related to foreign workers

For sure, it's just I do not trust Winston Peters enough not to discount him going for the bigger trophy, which is National, it is them who he might be able to bend more to his will. Mind you, then you will have a situation where when these policies that NZF and Labour agree on, you won't have any opposition, other than the party he has teamed up with. That could end up weirder than the 3 way coalition.
Yes, going with Labour/Greens make more sense, but again, don't trust him 100%

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You are suggesting that forked-tongue scaremongering slick Billy who passes out $ millions to his irrigator mates is more trustworthy - remember in the first debate Slick-Willy told you he had fixed the rivers, and you are now safe to swim in waters with e-coli levels of 540 parts-per-million

Um, no. Definitely, no. I just see Winston as seeing making the Nats make far more concessions than Labour/Greens to get the coalition as a huge temptation. But then I see a situation where perhaps he introduces another bill to stop/limit foreign ownership and the Nats either having to swallow a bunch of dead rats and vote for it or be true to what we all know they would really want to do. I hope he thinks it all the way through to that, but he might enjoy making them squirm.

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Yes I also subscribe to a written "immigration policy" set in stone that is :-

(a) approved by the parliament
(b) subject to review - annual report to parliament
(c) includes a biennial sunset clause where the policy expires and resets to zero
(d) legislation required to renew or re-activate the program
(e) subject to full capture of data and monthly reporting in the public domain
(f) responsibility of one government department - not the 3 at present

Realise 130,000 imports arrive each year of which (only) 3000 have building related skills

130,000 to get 3,000 is poor very management

Those insignificant things you mention, could well win him the West Coast and Northland next election.

You have to imagine this will be Winnie's last term before he hangs up his wingtips. I feel there is a lot of legacy building he needs to do to ensure NZ First lives on beyond his leadership and doesn't disappear like Alliance did. How that translates into who he sides with I'm not sure.

he could do that by getting the threshold lowered to 3% and getting rid of the coathanger rule,
kills off ACT and ensures his party will survive after he is gone

Which were a couple of recommended changes that came out of the 2012 review, changes that Judith Collins just arrogantly chucked aside. Oh it is the coat tail rule btw.

Indeed, but neither big party wants the 5% rule changed. It is more democratic but they dont really want that, they want life just like it was in FPP where once in Govn they had carte blanche. Neither party gets their drop in number of voters over the years means anything, when in fact it does.

You know what? That is just too damned bad for them. It was what the review revealed that people wanted.

I'm not sure this will be Winston's last term. He's not exactly a rambling dotard.
Would seem more likely that, being the wily Winston he is, the retirement decision will be made much closer to the next election depending how the next 3 years goes.
If NZ First is still on a high in 2020, I expect Winston to still be there.

Yeah peters wouldn’t retire in this term . Maybe well after 2020 after getting his party a good future . If possible

I think it is very what I read, plus his interviews point at someone whos tired and had enough.

I reckon he is no longer looking immortal

You have to imagine this will be Winnie's last term before he hangs up his wingtips. I feel there is a lot of legacy building he needs to do to ensure NZ First lives on beyond his leadership and doesn't disappear like Alliance did. How that translates into who he sides with I'm not sure.

We live in interesting times, CEO of BNZ speaks about income inequality and the need for a CGT - https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/97676478/bnz-ceo-calls-for-capita...

Interesting but not new. BNZ's previous CEO, Andrew Thorburn, also made similar comments/calls several years ago. Including in this 2012 speech I covered here http://www.interest.co.nz/kiwisaver/62066/bnzs-andrew-thorburn-hits-out-fundamental-anomalies-tax-system-favour-residential-pr

Running Jumping Standing Still

And the pity is this happens all the time - someone makes a v.good suggestion which is ignored, then someone regurgitates the same a year later and it's ignored, then someone different again states the same again and it suffers the same fate and it happens again and again and again.

A good example is the immigration fiasco in New Zealand. The weaknesses and flaws and damage being inflicted on New Zealand has been done to death here on interest.co.nz for 8 years (as you must be aware) yet here we are 8 years later and we hear Slick-Bill saying we need to keep them coming to help us build our houses, ignoring all the problems already identified and to top it all off most of the clowns go and voting wise vote them back in so all the idiots who wrote of the dangers and damage really are idiots, including Andrew Thorburn who also became wasted space. And to think, after 8 years and importing 500,000 imports, out of that 500,000 we still didn't get enough builders or related trade people, we have stood still and still have exactly the same problems we had back in 2010 - genius

nb: note the intentional use of the term wasted-space and not waste-of-space

But look how many Chefs and Bakers and Tourist guides we have now! But that is only 27% who are actual 'Skilled' with the other 73% working in my local supermarket, etc.

It gets ignored because the NZ voter will not tolerate the idea of a CGT.

Not to mention fewer than 3,000 with any skills related to construction were brought in during 2016. There's plenty of space between 3,000 and 70,000+ to increase incoming builders while decreasing overall numbers.

Bill's being disingenuous again.

The cynic in me thinks that it is because a CGT has a direct impact on mortgages for the seller's next place. i.e. they have to borrow more.

No CGT
Person buys house for $400k
Sells for $500k
Buys next house for $600k, so new Mortgage = $100k

CGT
Person buys house for $400k
Sells for $500k, Pays $10k in CGT
Buys next house for $600k, so new Mortgage = $110k

Or maybe they make a bigger margin from homeowners than investors?

Excellent Noncents.
A bank CEO who takes his orders from Melbourne being concerned with inequality and the pursuit of a fairer tax system in Godzone! Oh, please...
But, Healy obviously isn't following the script because he cites stopping lending on foreign income has removed a lot of foreign investors from the market and also that capital controls in China had cut the number of Chinese buyers in the market. Surely some mistake...

yes that was interesting. If foreign buyer numbers were so trivial and non-influential on our market then why would the BNZ's CEO say that those factors were having an effect.

A CGT that only applies to the profit made on investment properties will be a very minor tax - conceptually it may be OK but it will barely raise enough to cover the cost of implementing it. Who seriously believes prices can go much higher? And it could not be applied to properties bought long before the tax was implemented. And most suggestions have it at only 15%. The main effect will be to stop investors investing in their properties.

Why is it that people think CGT cannot be retrospective?

We all know NZ First's policy is much closer to Labour than the Nats.
So that means the Nats will have to bend more on policy if they are to get Winnie's support.
This is of course possible, as it's all about negotiation. Winnie may choose to get a little less wins on policy with the Nats if he thinks he is going to be part of a more stable / credible government by going with them.
I just hope he keeps reasonably strong bottom lines with the Nats. It would be disappointing if he didn't get a shift from them on immigration.

Anything any party says at this stage is a deliberate tactic to improve their negotiating powers. By Winnie saying policy matters, he is aligning himself more with Labour in an attempt to get a better deal out of National.

Yeah but
Policy should matter. It's what fundamentally distinguishes one party and it's raison d'tre from another.

Peters has policy that aligns more with Labour and voters that align more with National. 'He can't win'. My guess is that he will go with his voters, but it is still pretty 50:50

Yeah I see it 50/50.
Would nz first do internal polling on preference?

On behalf of progressives everywhere I insist you stop using misogynistic gender biased terms like King, and instead use gender neutral terms like Xing maker.

Xing is "Happy" in Chinese. So Winston is a "Happy Maker".

One solution is Breeding Obvious.....stop breeding beyond our means. 214 trillion calories, only needed if you multiply the People.

The conclusion is kinda right but the logic's flawed. A food crisis is coming a la 1929 but not due to population increases or "surging demand". The real kicker will come with supply chain disruption due to financial problems ... its the wheels of a working industrial machine that delivers food. We are eating Oil.

Just wait for Winston’s to negotiate stuff with national and labour and then work with the other party to repeal the very laws he supported/ those required to make them viable.

(Ie. work with labour to repeal national’s Budget whilst working with national to secure funding for rail to Northport, despite National relying on the surpluses available in their budget to be able to find said rail project)

First bit on the agenda that's across the board - foreign ownership. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/97675963/labour-to-meet-with-g...

oops Alex has just covered it here - http://www.interest.co.nz/news/90235/foreign-ownership-rules-post-1984-e...

If I or any of you knew what the future held for our market our opinions would be sought out. Clearly there will be some compromises made by the various political parties and us property investors may well be offered up as burnt offering on someone’s altar. If human sacrifices are going to be made to appease the Gods then it is smarter to choose someone else’s family to go first. Peters is a great thinker but not a great doer. New things will be tried and if any of us are still standing after three years we will be the winners.

Good on ya, Winston, Go get them, champ.
You can go with a nice legacy of taking care of NZ's interests.