Decision '17: Who can work with who

The leaders of the minor parties have laid out who they can and can't work with.

In a debate hosted by The Nation on Saturday morning, there was a lot of love between four of the leaders, and one none of those four could stand.

The odd one out was David Seymour, whose willingness to work with the Māori Party wasn't reciprocated.

Host Lisa Owen asked each leader who they'd prefer to work with.

David Seymour opted for Marama Fox of the Māori Party, having worked with her as part of the National-led coalition that's governed for the past nine years.

Ms Fox opted for Mana's Hone Harawira, perhaps the political opposite of Mr Seymour.

Gareth Morgan, leader of the Opportunities Party said he was having two, and pointed at Ms Fox and Mr Harawira.

Greens leader James Shaw chose Ms Fox, while Mr Harawira got greedy - saying he was "having everybody but the guy over there", pointing at Mr Seymour.

The ACT leader took the slight in stride.

 "My best endorsement yet."

What about Winston?

Mr Seymour said there was absolutely no chance he'd back any Government which needed Winston Peters and New Zealand First's support to survive, whether as part of a formal coalition or a confidence and supply deal.

Dr Morgan said TOP has only "the one bottom line, and that's anybody who's trying to get rid of these Māori seats we will not work with. So that rules out Winston, but it doesn't actually rule out Shane [Jones]. Go figure that."

Mr Jones, formerly of Labour but now NZ First's candidate in Whangarei, doesn't mind the Maori seats - but it's NZ First policy to put their existence to a referendum.

Ms Fox said it was equally likely the Māori Party would side with Labour or National because "because they've both mucked us around for 150 years". Mr Harawira agreed.

Mr Shaw said the Greens are sticking by their decision to publicly back Labour.

"If you want a progressive Labour-led Government, the Green Party has to be at the heart of that Government because they won't be able to govern without us. A Labour-NZ First Government is not a progressive Government."



As for the memorandum of understanding, which some have suggested is under threat with the Greens entering a candidate in Ōhāriu, he said it's "all good".