There are other parties, and they’re saying little

While Winston Peters holds centre stage day after day National and Labour are saying as little as possible about ongoing negotiations.

James Shaw keeps highlighting how weak he and the Greens are.

Stuff: Winston Peters will take both options to the NZ First board after Thursday night

Labour’s Jacinda Ardern did not stop to talk to media on her way to or from her team’s last meeting of the day with NZ First.

On the way into the 6.30pm meeting she said she still had “plenty of stamina” while walking past reporters.

On her way out of the meeting she kept her eyes averted and did not answer any questions.

After past meetings Ardern has said things are going very well and she is absolutely positive etc but the Labour team haven’t looked filled with glee or confidence.

James Shaw and the Greens seem to have resigned themselves to relying on Labour to negotiate for them.

Peters has ruled out including the Greens in partnership talks, forcing Shaw and his team to negotiate with Labour in parallel and in isolation to NZ First negotiations.

As Government talks enter into their fourth day, Shaw emerged from a two-hour long meeting with Labour and said he was confident he could trust Labour would argue a fair deal on their behalf.

“Jacinda made fairness one of her principle values in the campaign, I’ve known her a number of years and, I said this before the election, I trust her and she seems to be doing a good job of it.

“It’s got to be a stable and responsible Government that’s going to go the full distance in the national interest. Labour are working very hard on ensuring that that happens. That’s of paramount concern to all of us,” he said.

Shaw said he was confident he would be happy with the deal Labour eventually presented to them, but all the partners had to be “pretty sure” of their Government’s direction to ensure stability.

This sounds very vague and weak from Shaw. If they can’t stand up to Peters and insist on being included before a government is set up how confident can anyone be of them playing a meaningful part in a government?

It was suggested yesterday that the greens may be having a special general meeting last night. Perhaps that was to get party approval to hand their future totally over to Labour.

Bill English and the National negotiators have found a route to and from the meetings that avoids media contact. National are not revealing anything about the negotiations.

English has even worked out a route to the second floor Beehive room where talks are being held that neatly avoids the media, so there is no chance of upstaging Peters on his many media standups on his way to and from the Beehive.

From Stuff: Winston Peters says he’s going to change New Zealand – where is his mandate?

The two major parties have given Peters the run of the Beehive while Bill English and Jacinda Ardern keep a low profile to avoid upsetting the famously capricious NZ First leader.

So fearful are both major parties of losing the upper hand in the negotiations they’ve agreed to blanket silence while Peters apparently has free licence to talk.

Peters has claimed everything is confidential but keeps talking to the media.

English and Ardern are saying as little as possible.

Shaw just looks hapless. The Greens becoming the heart of a new progressive government looks a forlorn ideal now.

Winston Peters is grandstanding his way towards what he hopes will be a grand finale to his political career.

The others are looking like grovellers, especially Shaw.


  1. David

     /  October 12, 2017

    I am leaning towards a deal with National, unfortunately. He is dragging it out for the publicity and so he is not accused of wanting National all along.

    • You could be right. He has tried to prepare some for ‘disappointment’.

      The way the negotiations have played out the sidelining of the Greens, the Greens allowing that to happen with barely a whimper, and Labour allowing it to happen, don’t give me any confidence in a Labour-NZ First-Green arrangement working.

  2. David

     /  October 12, 2017

    The Greens have played a shocker, in negotiations no one respects a weakling and Winston could well be thinking i can do a Labour deal but is Shaw strong enough to have his caucus vote for my immigration policy. Too risky.
    I do think given his behaviour a National coalition will be detested from inception and before it has done anything. He got 7% but acts like he got 50%.

  3. Zedd

     /  October 12, 2017

    I hear that there is condemnation, because Greens take every ‘big decision’ back to their exec./Mbrs to give the nod..
    BUT it sounds like NZF will be doing the same thing (reason it could be, next week before result announced), now that the ‘negotiations’ with ‘coke & pepsi’ are coming to an end ?! 😦

    so much for its all about ‘Winston’ ?

    • Gezza

       /  October 12, 2017

      Taking things back to NZ members or their board or committee or whatever is a rubber stamp job – there’s barely even any need to pretend it’s anything else.

  4. Blazer

     /  October 12, 2017

    pretty sure it’ll be National.Better with him there though than…without.National can blame him if things slowdown.