Winston Peters to brief caucus today

  • 27/09/2017
Mr Peters is due to brief his caucus about which party to form government with.
Mr Peters is due to brief his caucus about which party to form government with. Photo credit: Getty

NZ First leader Winston Peters is about to brief his caucus on the coalition negotiations he'll be holding with National and Labour.

Wednesday's meeting will be the first its nine MPs have held since Saturday's election, and it's an important step in the process to form a government.

Mr Peters has previously said he wouldn't make any moves until he had brought his caucus up to speed.

The two contenders for his support, Prime Minister Bill English and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, expect to speak to Mr Peters before the end of the week.

National can form a two-party coalition government with NZ First, while Labour will be negotiating for a three-way deal that includes the Greens.

Labour doesn't have enough seats to hold a majority in parliament with just NZ First.

National and Labour have been in contact with NZ First at staff level to discuss a framework for negotiations.

When the leaders speak to Mr Peters it will be to confirm those arrangements so the serious deal-making can begin.

Ms Ardern announced on Tuesday that she and her deputy Kelvin Davis would lead Labour's team, while the Greens' group will be headed by party leader James Shaw and MP Eugenie Sage.

Mr Peters has said there can't be any decisions before October 7, when special votes have been counted and announced by the Electoral Commission.

The specials are expected to change the composition of parliament, but not in ways that would alter the big picture.

In 2014, National lost a seat and the Greens gained one on specials.

On election night results, National holds 58 seats, Labour 45, NZ First nine and the Greens seven.

The ACT Party holds one seat but won't be part of a coalition government.

A majority is 61 in the 120-member parliament.

NZN