Labour nominate Peters, but pick Greens as first cab

Yesterday Andrew Little announced he was nominating Winston Peters to replace David Shearer on the intelligence and security committee, leaving Greens out but apparently with their support for Peters.

Little also said that Greens would be the first party he would call after the election “if the numbers go our way”.

Stuff: Little signals Greens will be ‘first cab off the rank’ in post-election talks

Labour is to treat the Greens as “first cab off the rank” for post election talks in a signal it is firming up its plans to work in coalition with its allied party.

But in an Opposition two-step Labour leader Andrew Little on Thursday first announced he was nominating Peters for the intelligence and security committee – with the Greens support.

He said the fact the Greens had agreed to Peters replacing David Shearer as an Opposition representative on the intelligence and security committee “showed they have a maturity about forging relationships beyond just the Labour Party”.

The Greens were keen to have their representative replace him on the committee but they will endorse Peters, who has been a member of the committee in the past.

Greens have previously been miffed that they have been excluded from the committee.

John Key and Bill English have said that the Greens anti-intelligence stances make then incompatible with the committee.

Earlier this month, English said he was not comfortable with a Green MP being on the committee.

“They’ve got a deep-seated hostility to any intelligence apparatus at all, which is not a responsible attitude, and we wouldn’t want to foster it,” he said.

But Little, who is pushing for wider party representation on the committee, at the time said he would be very comfortable with the Greens being on it.

It looks like the Greens and Labour have decided it isn’t a fight worth having at this stage of election year.

Little…

…then made it clear that in a “quid pro quo” the Greens would be the first cab off the rank and the first party to receive a call if Labour was able to build a government after the September 23 election.

“After September 23 and if the numbers go our way and I am in the privileged position of putting together a government they are the first phone call I will make. No question about it,” he said.

“We haven’t spent the last many-a-year now formally strengthening our relationship and working out common ground … for it to mean nothing at all when it comes to a general election.”

The Memorandum of understanding expires on election day but it would be remarkable if Labour didn’t at least start post election talks with the Greens. Peters may not like this if he feels he holds the balance of power.

He said there were no guarantees, and the numbers would dictate what will happen.

What if NZ First gets more numbers (MPs) than the Greens, something that is a real possibility?

“They will be the first party I will talk to to interpret what the numbers might be and what that means. It’s a commitment that the relationship does mean something after the election.”

But it’s very likely that the numbers will mean Labour would have to talk to NZ First and convince them to join them in a coalition. The Greens are already a virtual certainty, NZ First is likely to be the party with bargaining power.

But would he be prepared to leave the Greens out of government if Winston Peters insisted and Labour needed NZ First to govern?

“I think that is unlikely.”

That’s a weak ruling out. And considering how Little far more strongly claimed there wasn’t going to be a deputy leadership change a day before it was announced, in an obvious bid to improve Labour’s numbers, the numbers game has no rules in politics.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  3rd March 2017

    “After September 23 and if the numbers go our way and I am in the privileged position of putting together a government they are the first phone call I will make. No question about it,” he said.”

    Oh the games Andy plays believing no one sees through them. When crunch time comes and Winnie tells Andy he would accept a coalition agreement provided the Greens are jettisoned, or accept minor coalition roles, Andy will say “yes sir” especially with socialists baying from the sideline ‘anything but the opposition benches.’

    The great thing about holidays and racking up huge credit card debt is the clear mind it creates. And in such a state I realised there’s way more political mileage for National, and loads more fun for us, if Labour gain power at the next election. Either way you work the numbers its disaster at every turn. Poor economic performance, more housing failures, leadership issues, factions, whining Maori wanting more, beneficiaries expecting more and
    the dearth of political talent such a coalition would expose.

    So I’m getting behind Andy to rort those nasty Tories. GO LABOUR!!!!! Lol…I think?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th March 2017

      😳 How much would it cost me to send you on another holiday, Corks? 🤔

      Reply
  1. Labour nominate Peters, but pick Greens as first cab — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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