Negotiation of chaos

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, November 15th, 2023 - 132 comments
Categories: act, Christopher Luxon, david seymour, national, national/act government, nz first, uncategorized, winston peters, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

So the coalition negotiations are going as well as I thought they would.

Yesterday the parties each gathered in Wellington so that negotiations continue.  But there was a notable exception.

For some reason Winston Peters did not travel to Wellington to be with his NZ First caucus but instead stayed in Auckland.

And after that there were scenes in Wellington that resembled a cross between the Thick of It and the Goodies as Christopher Luxon and David Seymour caught late night flights to travel to Auckland to meet with Peters.

Luxon’s dream of concluding the negotiations so that he could rub shoulders with the World Leaders at APEC are in ruins.

And there were earlier developments that should strike fear in the hearts of those who want the best for Aotearoa New Zealand.

From One News:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and ACT’s David Seymour have joined forces to negotiate with the National Party after not getting what they want, 1News understands.

It’s understood there has been a “significant warming of relations” between the pair.

ACT and NZ First will work together on race relations, infrastructure and climate change, 1News understands.

It’s understood incoming prime minister Christopher Luxon wants to get coalition talks wrapped up to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in San Francisco next week, and both ACT and NZ First will use this as a negotiating tool to try and get more policy wins.

This is significant.  Both parties have extreme views on race relations.  Although NZ First has expressed opposition to Act’s Treaty Referendum some hybrid proposal may be considered.

And if they have their way the country’s climate change response will be in tatters.

Winston is in his normal grandstanding mode.  Given a chance, any chance, to be the centre of attention he will seize the opportunity.

And the calculated insult in preventing Luxon triumphantly attending the APEC convention is something I suspect National will not forget.

This Government has all of the signs of being a coalition of chaos.  Stand by …

132 comments on “Negotiation of chaos ”

  1. dv 1

    Coalition of chaos

    Great term — who thought that up

    Oh right the Natz.

  2. Ad 2

    Luxon is being played like a black grand piano.

    Winston's price will be fascinating.

    • alwyn 2.1

      Do you think he hopes to do as well with National as he did with the Labour Party in 2017?

      Ron Mark summed it up as being ‘Jacinda was ready to sell her grandmother – and she did’.

      According to his story of the negotiations, and he was there, Winston got everything he wanted and didn't actually have to agree to support anything in the Labour Party policy list. Everything Labour wanted to do remained as open to negotiation.

      He also got to be Deputy PM, Minister of Foreign Affairs and caused the exclusion of the Green? Party from the Cabinet. Do you think he hopes to get as much as that this time around

      • Louis 2.1.1

        Doesn't look like any grandmother was sold. Like Winston Peters, Ron Mark likes to rewrite history too and if memory serves, National offered Winston more but wouldn't budge on policy.

        Coalition agreement between the New Zealand Labour Party & New Zealand First Party.

        • alwyn

          That certainly illustrates what Ron was saying doesn't it.

          There are all the baubles that Labour promised to provide to New Zealand First.

          However, as Ron pointed out, there is nothing at all that New Zealand First promised to do for Labour. Nothing at all.

          • SPC

            Do you really think that ACT or NZ First are going to give National anything? They want something from National in return for their support to a National led government. Then by having the majority in parliament National get to do the stuff they choose to do.

            • alwyn

              "Then by having the majority in parliament National get to do the stuff they choose to do.". The "majority" to do things requires that ACT and NZF will vote for the things that National want to do.

              That is what ACT and NZF have to give National.

              • SPC

                That is what ACT and NZF have to give National.

                It is what NZF had to give Labour too. Confidence and supply is just the beginning.

                • SPC

                  The coalition partners know what is in the governing party manifesto and unless the coalition agreement specifies a block on it, it is planned to go ahead.

          • Louis

            Rubbish, alwyn. And nowhere does Winston blame Bill English for choosing Labour.

            "it did reinforce National’s instinct to destroy rather than to build. Instead of wanting to cooperate with our desire for positive change, National’s strategy was designed to extinguish it."

            "We knew we couldn’t win everything, but we wanted to work with a party that, having committed to a shared policy vision, would work with New Zealand First to make change happen"


            Peters writes his own history on backing Labour in 2017


            • alwyn

              One would certainly have to agree that Winston writes his own version of history. Ron's sounds a great deal closer to the truth.

              I also don't see what you are talking about when you say "And nowhere does Winston blame Bill English for choosing Labour.". What is that supposed to mean?

              • Louis

                "Ron's sounds a great deal closer to the truth" You don't know that though. You just want to believe it because it suits you.

                Didn't you read the links?

          • Ghostwhowalks

            Ron Marks doesnt necessarily know all the baubles proferred by National unsucessfully in 2017. Mps usually arent part of the process as they are too involved in their own policy area

          • Craig H

            A lot of that would have been Labour policy anyway. There is also an agreement to support whatever was set out in the speech from the throne.

      • James Simpson 2.1.2

        The other key difference from 2017 is ACT is not willing to walk away from Cabinet like the Greens were in 2017

        The Greens agreed to support the government from outside Cabinet to ensure Bill English was not PM.

        ACT it appears will not concede that position as easily. They want to be on the inside, so their support is conditional on them being at the top table.

        • Michael P

          You make it sound as though the Green Party's actions in that year were somehow better than what ACT is doing. Isn't the whole point of being in politics to get into office in order to have much more say in getting some of your policy ideas actually enacted?

          Of course their support will be conditional, that's the whole point about MMP and of being a minor party, to get enough votes so that the party with the most votes will need your support and will need to give you a few bits and pieces if they want to form a government.

          The Green party doing what they do make it easier for a party like National to govern because they will support National on any climate action taken for example (no matter how small) whereas ACT might not, so National can still get policy through with Greens support.

          Do the Greens support Wayne Brown's suggestion to bring in congestion charges in Auckland? Of course they do.

        • weka

          ACT it appears will not concede that position as easily. They want to be on the inside, so their support is conditional on them being at the top table.

          I don't think the Greens conceded easily. There was no other way to form government and the Greens played the hand they were dealt.

          What is ACT's plan if Luxon says no? Conventional wisdom is that the electorate hates parties that force a re-election.

          A Nat/NZF minority government. Is that even possible?

          • James Simpson

            A Nat/NZF minority government. Is that even possible?

            Its certainly possible. It would mirror the 2017 arrangements.

            I just don't think ACT will allow it.

            Big disclaimer: I have no idea really. Just an observer, from Raglan.

            • weka

              The 2017 government wasn't really a minority government though. Lab/NZF had more than 50% of the vote with the C/S agreement from the Greens.

              Nat cab form some kind of government with NZF and ACT. I can't see it forming government with only one of those parties, but maybe someone else can see how it would work.

              • James Simpson

                That's what I meant by this one being a mirror. You just swap the Greens out for ACT.

                But I don't get the impression ACT will settle for C/S

                • weka

                  except that NZF blocked the Greens from coalition (I think). Can Peters do that to ACT now? Doesn't have the same leverage as NZF did in 2017.

  3. Barfly 3

    Hmmm monkeying with the Treaty whatever could go wrong ?

    Hey I'll see you at the the riot(s)

    And this is from an old white dude who has never been to a protest

  4. Mike the Lefty 4

    This is the time that Chris Hipkins, as the Leader of the Opposition Elect, should be pouring on the scorn and the criticism of this council of thieves squabbling over the baubles of power (to paraphrase the past words of one of them).

    I sense that the country is starting to get a bit annoyed at the horsetrading and perambulations of this council of thieves behind closed doors with the public treated like vote fodder.

    They voted for change, ostensibly, but it may be a case of be careful what you wish for. We will get a hastily prepared, ill considered mini budget before Christmas which will be part pay back for the millions of dollars donated by big business.

    • Michael P 4.1

      "I sense that the country…"

      Not all the country, somewhere around 1 in 3 people couldn't care less.,.

    • tc 4.2

      Chippy missed many opportunities during the campaign to negate the spin with facts so don't hold your breath on that one.

      It mattered then whereas now who cares what he thinks and even if he did get all 'see I told you so' the media would ignore him as they know where their breads buttered now.

    • Cricklewood 4.3

      Id imagine the number of people that actually care as a percentage will be considerably lower than the turnout for the Port Waikato byelection.

  5. SPC 5

    ACT and NZ First will work together on race relations, infrastructure and climate change, 1News understands.

    One hopes this only refers to reference to the Treaty in legislation – current affairs politics – rather than the Waitangi Tribunal's continuance, or an attempt to diminish a national founding document because of an aversion to world standards for indigenous peoples, as per UNDRIP.

    Those who want us to be like Oz, can go migrate.

    Their bent: as per UNDRIP, the Paris Accord, degradation of waterways and general disregard for conservation of the environment is a conspiracy of ravens to ruin our green brand.

    • Anne 5.1

      I read somewhere yesterday – sorry, don't know where – that some sort of compromise solution over the Treaty is being sought. In other words we can expect some reform of the treaty to be enacted.

      If it is correct then all hell will still break loose. It would be like a US administration fiddling with their founding documents. Civil war would break out.

      • Michael P 5.1.1

        When you say "reform" are you suggesting that they are planning to try and change the actual text of the treaty? I would doubt that very much.

        Maybe they might just want a clear definition agreed upon by New Zealanders as to what the principles of the treaty are? How could anyone (in good faith) possibly have an issue with that?

        • SPC

          The parliament of the settler government already did that by enabling breaches of the Treaty – leading to the 1860 Maori land wars.

          Then because the Maori were not part of it and now – Maori are a minority of voters.

          • Ghostwhowalks

            The creation of the Maori seats in 1867 raised the issue back then that it was itself a breach of treaty article III – as it created a new class of male voter based on communal land ownership which was separate to that of existing male landowners/leaseholders

            Although other special interest european electorates were created in that era – which Hobsons Choice ignore !- The 'Pensioner Settlements' around Auckland and the 'Goldfields' in South island


            Those Maori Mps elected in 1868 were the first NZ born Mps!

            • SPC

              The settler government making the Maori as a minority complicit in the parliamentary rule over Maori as iwi chieftainship was subverted by loss of land …

              • Ghostwhowalks

                Article III

                "Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects."

                Voting was one of the rights and privileges proffered in Treaty . Not sure where chieftanship over the tribes members were to be the only governance Lands forests fisheries etc yes

        • Anne

          I have no idea what they might be contemplating. Its all very secret as you know. But given recent comments from Seymour and Peters well traversed by the MSM, plus National's general lack of enthusiasm for Maori affairs, it doesn't sound promising.

      • alwyn 5.1.2

        There have ben 27 amendments to the US Constitution. There were none between 1803 and 1865 but they had a Civil War in that time. There have been a lot of changes since 1865 but no Civil War.

      • Cricklewood 5.1.3

        Seems to be they'll look to ammend various legislation to remove the need to refer to treaty principals when making descisions.

        • Anne

          That sounds credible.

          • Ghostwhowalks

            Legislation search by keyword gives 36 hits for Acts in force

            The full phrase is principles of the treaty of waitangi , many of them are actually treaty settlement acts and of course Treaty of Waitangi Act

  6. ianmac 6

    Luxon has adopted the image of a quick thinking man on a mission with all lesser people struggling to keep up with his superior brains and fitness all the time with a grimace stretching his face. Even his mate Jessica struggles to keep up.

    Who is taken in by his charade?

    • Anne 6.1

      "Who is taken in by his charade?"

      Plenty of people. Its the same people who get taken in every time. They never learn.

    • AB 6.2

      Some unknown subset of 38% of the population was taken in by the charade. The constant repetition of the words "delivery" and "outcomes" moves politics from the realm of ideas into the realm of competence. The implication is that the ideas are not up for discussion, they are settled commonsense, no discussion needed, TINA. It's a very deliberate and clever charade, but as we see now, not without reputational risk. Though for reputational risk to be a danger, it requires the electorate to have the capacity for memory, and that’s not always the case.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 6.3

      Luxon has adopted the image of a quick thinking man… with his superior brains…

      Nat pollies do bang on so about the big brains in their ranks – size matters?

      In the flesh, however, Reti, or "Dr Shane" as National Party leader Judith Collins has taken to calling him, is enthusiastic, expansive and even a bit manic. He’s got a big brain and wants to do everything. He is a gifted storyteller. And he has obvious ambition to succeed in whatever he turns his mind to. [5 Sept 2020]

      Luxon on Bridges:

      He is a really prodigious talent, he's got really complementary skills, he's got a big brain and he does a great work ethic. So he's going to be taking it to Grant Robertson. [2 Dec 2021]

      Christopher Luxon not going to apologise for his success [3 Dec 2021]
      @6:25 mins: And that’s the sort of stuff that we’ve really got to get in to, and put a big brain to, t-to clarify and articulate our position incredibly strongly about that.

      @7:20 mins: So, the chain is very simple, you know – um – and we’ve gotta prosecute that case, and that’s why I want Simon Bridges on that on that case, because Grant Robertson hasn’t been pushed hard enough, and Rob – and Bridges on Robertson will be a great contest – um – and so, and Simon can also [enter into?] the complexity of those issues because he’s got a big brain – ah – but he’ll be able to prosecute and articulate those themes to all New Zealanders, not just um, not just in technical terms, um – so that’s what I really want him to do as well.

      Speaking of 'technical' terms, here's Luxon on “very big brain“-Willis replacing “big brain“-Bridges as National’s new finance spokesperson [16 March 2022, @51:40 mins]:

      Nicola has what I think is a very big brain – a very big, incredible intellect. Ah, she’s got a prodigious work ethic, as many of you know – ah – and she’s got a proven ability to hold the government to account.

  7. Stan 7

    Disappointed, but not surprised by the Labour loss at the election and this mutant combination getting in.

    But I can't wait for the first question time in parliament, Luxon's going to look just like the 2 dimensional tool he appears to be.

  8. Chris 8

    Peters and Seymour attempting to demand a referendum on the Treaty is Luxon's opportunity to look strong, even if it means another election. The only trouble is that he won't take that opportunity and instead will accept the referendum as if he had no choice, Pontius Pilate-style, because privately that's what he and his mates want too.

  9. Reality 9

    Have been aware of some annoyance from people I know over the drawn out negotiating. Wonder if Winston's previous attention seeking shenanigans had faded from people's memory.

    Whatever else he may be Luxon is also going to be a very boring PM. His communication is so repetitive, scripted by his PR people and false.

    • AB 9.1

      Boredom serves perfectly well as a cover for unpleasant deeds done in the background. It may be just as effective as Key's relaxed, smiling and more than a little greasy reassurances that he was "comfortable" with how things were going.

    • Chris 9.2

      "Whatever else he may be Luxon is also going to be a very boring PM. His communication is so repetitive, scripted by his PR people and false."

      Totally, but great for the next election. As an aside, I wonder how long he’ll carry on with his "strong and stable government" marlarkey? My guess his coms people will be putting an end to that pretty shortly.

  10. Siobhan 10

    "Christopher Luxon, Winston Peters and David Seymour have first meeting in Auckland"

    Open photo

  11. Anne 11

    They're finally together.

    Live: Luxon, Peters, Seymour finally sit down for talks

  12. SPC 12

    Their first threeway lasted half an hour.

    The three leaders of National, Act and NZ First have finally met all together today – the first time they will have all been in a room together in more than a month during coalition talks.

    The meeting, at an inner-city Auckland hotel, only lasted about half an hour, with Seymour saying it was too short to deal with major substantive discussions.

    But he said despite its brevity, it was still important to have had the meeting.

    So it was all a matter of appearances after their failure to meet in Wellington.

    • weka 12.1

      do they have to be in the same room? Didn't NZF negotiate with Labour in 2017 and Labour negotiated with the Greens separately?

      • SPC 12.1.1

        2017 was a two party coalition with a support partner (and Peters and Greens were at arms length from each other).

        It is new territory for Peters. He has form for two party coalitions. 1996-1998, 2005-2008 and 2017-2020.

        His meeting with Seymour of itself was a first.

        Was it reaching a consensus on some policy? Or was it about a three party coalition? Or a National led government with them as two support partners?

        • weka

          my guess (haven't been paying particularly close attention) is that there is some advantage to Peters in meeting with Nat and Act, rather than Nat alone. eg the leverage on policy if NZF now kind of support ACT's treaty bullshit.

      • Ghostwhowalks 12.1.2

        In 2017 it was a multi lateral negotiation NZ First- Labour and NZF-National were the primaries

        The Greens as the smaller party werent in formal coalition.

        • weka

          right. So why isn't it being done like that now? Do we know for sure that it's going to be a coalition of all three parties? Maybe this is why Peters is at the meeting, so he doesn't get related to the status that he forced on the GP in 2017.

          • Ghostwhowalks

            In 2017 there were possible Labour led or National led governments ( also same in 1996)

            no possibility of labour led this time

            • Corey

              Winston has more power than people realize.

              While there's no chance of a Labour coalition, the make up of parliament is 60 seats right block, 55 seats left block.

              With nzf's 8 seats it could always choose to sit in the cross bench and force a national minority govt to work with parliament on a case by case issue and occasionally passing legislation with the left block.

              National could try force an early election but nzf and the left block don't have the funds to run one and would block an early election.

              Unlike Act, who would be punished for risking an election by going in the cross benches, NZF voters expect this stuff from NZF and probably would think Winston was some kind of Chad king for sitting in the cross benches.

              In fact sitting in the cross benches and blocking neoliberal policy might make him more popular. Especially with alienated Labour and Green male voters.

              • bwaghorn

                I'll be pretty happy if the old shit blocks the foriegn house buyers national wants to unleash

              • Ghostwhowalks

                Parliament cant block an early election. Thats the prerogative of the Governor General.

                The PM asks and the GG does or doesnt agree and if its a minority national government as the largest party they get their wish

                • Craig H

                  The other parties in Parliament could form a government around National if that happened. Can't see ACT joining in, but if NZ First went to Labour, the Greens and TPM and agreement was reached, the GG could appoint one of them PM instead of dissolving Parliament.

                  • Incognito

                    Parliament was dissolved on 8 Sep.

                    • Craig H

                      True, but that was the old Parliament. The new Parliament has been summoned for 11:00am on 21 December so is set to meet this year. Obviously could be earlier if an agreement is reached or Parliament not summoned at all if no agreement can be reached by anyone, but Parliament must be summoned within 6 weeks of the Return of the Writ (due any day now that the recounts are complete), so a new election without even summoning Parliament would require everyone to agree this year that no government can be formed.

                      Even then, the GG might summon Parliament anyway and see if confidence votes fail.

                      That said, I was replying to a chain of comments with NZ First making life difficult after a government was formed and the new Parliament summoned rather than one in which that doesn't happen.

                    • Incognito []

                      Fair comment, thank you.

                      Even then, the GG might summon Parliament anyway and see if confidence votes fail.

                      This might be the most likely scenario, IMO.

  13. Michael P 13

    "Both parties have extreme views on race relations."

    Really? I don't support either party so I haven't got a detailed understanding of them. However I've looked through both of their policy viewpoints / manifestos and can't find anything extreme on race relations. Nor have I seen / heard anything extreme when their leaders have been interviewed on TV / radio, etc.

    So what are these extreme views you are writing about?

    • SPC 13.1

      Getting rid of the HRC and WT and a re-do of the meaning of the Treaty with that reset by a public referendum?

      How about one on private property rights being limited to a fixed amount maximum – or something more moderate like CGT and estate taxation, as in 24 or 36 OECD nations.

      • Michael P 13.1.1

        HRC – some might imagine that wanting to end the human rights commission equates to an extreme view on race relations, I don't. I would argue that the organisation is now highly politicized and isn't fit for purpose. regardless I don't see this as being an extreme view on race relations?

        Is WT a wealth tax? (The main reason I decided not to vote this year I was so pissed off at Labour on tax) If WT is wealth tax then I'm not sure that and anything in your second paragraph would cause anyone to immediately think 'race relations.' and 'extreme views'?

        • SPC

          Waitangi Tribunal – ACT wants it gone.

          Some think the Human Rights Act is important to equal political citizenship. Wanting to get rid of the HRC and claiming all should be equal under the Treaty (which makes promises specific to Maori) is inconsistent and infers diminished status to Maori land rights.

          See Waitangi Tribunal.

          What is radical.

          Some see a wealth tax as more radical than a CGT and estate tax – we have neither of those – yet 24/36 of the OECD nations have both.

          What is truly radical is the idea that there be a maximum amount of personal property any person can have. Their rights – now Maori land rights etc.

          • Bearded Git

            A WT is definitely more radical than a CGT (which raises little revenue in early tears and is very complicated) though a LT is a close second.

            My preference is for a WT similar to that in the Green Party manifesto.

            • SPC

              A wealth tax is the tax a nation needs when inequality has already occurred because of the historic lack of a CGT and estate tax (not since 1992-3).

        • weka

          I would argue that the organisation is now highly politicized and isn't fit for purpose

          Go on then, make the argument, we're all ears.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    OK. I will bite.

    Firstly, it is three way negotiations. So, it will necessarily involve a lot of complication, and hence take a lot of time. So, that isn't surprising.

    Secondly, if the left wants the government to collapse quickly, then long negotiations aren't what is wanted. Better would be a quick, easy deal.

    The reason is, that when deals come together easily, then they can often fall apart easily as well. That is because parties to the negotiation can be left feeling they could have got something better. And they haven't invested much in the relationship, hence the commitment tends not to be very high.

    On the other hand, in hard fought negotiations, parties tend to feel they have squeezed as much out of the lemon as they can. And, since they have a high investment in the negotiations, there tends to be a lot more commitment to the deal after the event.

    Illustrating my points, when my wife was selling real estate, she tended to find that the deals where an offers were made and accepted quickly without much negotiation tended to be the ones that fell apart whereas those that involved a lot of haggling tended to be more likely to settle.

    Another point is that Winston might be grand-standing. But he also needs to have a deal done. The reason is, that if NZ has to have a second election, and NZ First is seen as responsible for the fail, then they may well be voted out of government in the second election. So, there is pressure on him to do a deal as well.

    • Hate to say it, but I agree with most of that tsmith.

      • Michael P 14.1.1

        Do do I 100%. Also I don't understand why so many people are moaning and groaning about how long negotiations are taking. Does it matter? Labour is still running government and life goes on, why is it so important to get it done so quickly?

      • Michael P 14.1.2

        So do I 100%. Also I don't understand why so many people are moaning and groaning about how long negotiations are taking. Does it matter? Labour is still running government and life goes on, why is it so important to get it done so quickly?

        • SPC

          In Albany, north of Auckland, National Party leader Christopher Luxon began his day with a several-hundred strong rally where he made a range of promises over what National would get done in its first hundred days.

          The 100-day plan includes banning gang patches and abolishing Auckland fuel taxes, Three Waters and RMA 2.0.

          It’s a promise to deliver on on an extensive list of policies by the end of January.

          Luxon said it was doable, especially if he kept Parliament working up until Christmas.

          But he refused to be drawn on what impact his likely coalition partners would have on his ability to work quickly through the to-do list.

          “I made up our 100-day plan to give everyone a very good sense of where we are going,” he said.

          Luxon is confident in his ability to form a team and negotiate.

    • weka 14.2

      Firstly, it is three way negotiations. So, it will necessarily involve a lot of complication, and hence take a lot of time. So, that isn't surprising.

      How long have other three way negotiations take in the past?

  15. Ad 15

    With Wayne Eagleson from Key's government in the background, give it 2 more weeks and Luxon might propose:

    "Look we tried to form a coalition that was workable but NZFirst made it too hard", so:

    Luxon is guided to to to the Governor General for a snap election to get a clearer mandate.

    At which point the left with no money to resist or campaign have to face a new election,

    there's a tiny turnout that favours the right and we all get an even worse result,

    National head towards late 40% vote share,

    and we get to March 2024 with a much tougher Parliament than now,

    set for 3 National terms not 2.

    • tsmithfield 15.1

      And, that is precisely why there will be a deal. NZ First cannot afford that scenario. So, they will eventually cave after they have blustered enough.

      • Ad 15.1.1

        There's all to motivate them.

        But dumber things have happened if I recall 1996.

      • Christopher 15.1.2

        If National party fails to form government then, under Westminster parliamentary system NZ has, the governor general will pass responsibility to form government on the labour party as the next largest party after the nats.

        In such an unlikely scenario, if nzf/Winston really don't want a snap election (eg they're not confident of clearing the 5% mmp threshold) then they'd give labour confidence and supply. There would be a labour minority gvmt.

        I think luxon and co will be aware of this, so it is nats that have to work hard to accommodate nzf/Winston rather than so much nzf/Winston accommodating nats.

        • weka

          A L/NZF minority government would have trouble passing legislation. How realistic is this?

          • Barfly

            IMO slightly more realistic than Winston letting Luxon call another election…..

            • weka

              It's not only on Peters though. Labour and the Greens would factor into it, as would the Governor General afaik.

          • Craig H

            As long as they can pass a budget and any confidence votes that are proposed, realistic. Might not be a lot of legislation, but would also avoid unwanted legislation which is worth something.

        • Ghostwhowalks

          'the governor general will pass responsibility to form government on the labour party as the next largest party after the nats.'

          Dont know thats a formal process for that to work. Some countrys in Europe have legislated for the largest party first and then the next largest.

          Westminster doesnt do it like that as far as I can see

          UK Feb 1974 election where the existing government was the Tories but neither Torys or Labour had a majority. Heath tried a coalition with Liberals which didnt eventuate so Labour under Wilson then became a minority government as they had largest number of MPs by a small margin

          Next election was in Oct 1974

    • Craig H 15.2

      NZ First could stymie that by going to Labour, Greens and TPM and forming a government with them instead.

      • Belladonna 15.2.1

        Well, they could. However, Winston has ruled it out. As has Hipkins.

        It would require a substantial volte-face by both.

        While not beyond the realms of possibility, it does seem highly unlikely.

    • Muttonbird 15.3

      Luxon is guided to to to the Governor General for a snap election to get a clearer mandate.

      What does this mean? How can, "Luxon go to to to the Governor General for snap election" when Luxon has zero authority.

      Chris Hipkins is the Prime Minister. How can Buxton call a snap election?

  16. Obtrectator 16

    All very reminiscent of another coalition in a far distant land, just over a hundred years ago, brilliantly illustrated by one of NZ's finest. I'd post an image, but on-line ones seem to be as rare as hens' teeth, and anyway for some reason won't paste into here.

    So you’ll just have to search on the key words “david low” and “coalition ass”.

    • joe90 16.1


      David Low's two-headed Ass represented the Lloyd George Liberal Conservative Coalition Government.

      Low was inexhaustible in invention, especially in the use of real individuals or his own creations to symbolise both institutions and attitudes. No cartoonist has ever matched Low for his symbolic allusions, with his first great allegorical creation being the two-headed donkey that characterised David Lloyd George's coalition government between 1918 to 1922. The ass 'without pride of ancestry or hope of posterity'; was an instant success for Low. Michael Foot, Low's editor at the Evening Standard, believed that the constant appearance of the ass in the Star undermined Lloyd George's coalition possibly more than any other single factor.

  17. Thinker 17

    Final election results came out on 3rd November. 20 days after official vote day.

    So, we are getting close to the date by which Luxon will have taken as long as the counting period of which he was so critical.

  18. We must have trust in the Dream Team.Or,is it the Mean Team ? It is already obvious who the leader is.

  19. observer 19

    The real issue for the new trio is long term, not short term. Of course a government will be formed eventually, and Luxon will become PM. As others have said, most voters probably aren't too bothered (yet) about the time taken. (Another week or two of waiting and that might change).

    But the long term problem is Luxon seems incapable of learning from his mistakes. It was stupid to declare that previous negotiations had been poor and he was going to do it better. Stupid to piss off the reporters for no good reason (they used to sit out negotiations in Wellington and wait, now they go from Auckland to Wellington to Auckland to Wellington and play "hunt the leader'). Stupid to keep saying everything's going so wonderfully, as if problems could be wished away with bluster.

    Seymour has sounded much more reasonable, even human (and I can't stand him!) while Winston has been Winston, as everyone except Luxon knew he would.

    When he becomes PM he will not be able to pretend bad things don't happen. He sounds like Comical Ali in the 1991 Iraq war. All he does is burn his own credibility, his political capital.

    That's not a question of strategy, it's character. That is who he is. And if you haven't worked him out yet, you can be sure Seymour and Peters have.

  20. observer 20

    Does Luxon even stop and think before he speaks? (don't answer, rhetorical question).

    At start of negotiations, he told us how he was going to do it much better than previous NZ leaders. Bolger, Clark, Key, English, Ardern … he'll show 'em how it's done.

    Which has now turned into … won't take 5 months!

    Election 2023: Christopher Luxon says he can assure coalition negotiations won't take five months | Newshub

    Reminder: Hipkins conceded on election night.

    Of course he blames MMP. The same system that every previous leader has had to deal with, for the last 27 years.

  21. georgecom 21

    did Luxon say strong and stable government or SLOW and stable government.

    Imagine how long it would take if he wasn't 'experienced doing mergers and negotiations etc with AirNZ and Unilever'.

    And was it before christmas 2023 or 2024 that he wants to deliver a mini budget

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