Christopher Luxon rejects National working with Labour in 'grand coalition', refuses to rule out fringe parties

National leader Christopher Luxon is rejecting the prospect of working with Labour in a hypothetical "grand coalition" but refuses to fully close the door on any fringe parties - though admits working with them is unlikely.

It comes after right-leaning political commentator Matthew Hooton said New Zealand's major Opposition and governing parties shouldn't rule out a grand coalition to keep extremist fringe parties out of power - should they individually or collectively reach the 5 percent threshold to enter Parliament.

Hooton told AM on Tuesday the parties should be open to the idea.

"If we ever did get in that situation - where an extreme right-wing or extreme left-wing group had that type of power and was playing those games - I think it would be the responsibility of the leaders of the Labour and the National party to reject that proposition and talk to one another, and at least establish some type of temporary grand coalition," he said.

Political scientist Bryce Edwards told AM Labour and National would have to decide how to deal with fringe movements, like those touted by controversial anti-Government Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki.

National has worked with Labour before. The parties twice formed grand coalitions in the 20th century - during the Great Depression and World War I. 

But Luxon has rejected the idea of working with Labour.

"The bottom line for me is focusing on the National Party - I'm not interested in a grand coalition with Labour, either," Luxon told AM.

When asked if he would consider working with fringe parties such as Jami-Lee Ross' Advance NZ, Hannah Tamaki's Vision NZ and Sue Grey's Outdoors Party, Luxon said: "I'm not going to get into any electoral calculations… 

"I can't see them making Parliament, to be honest with you… I think you're pretty safe to assume that that wouldn't be our natural place to go to, and I actually just cannot see them making Parliament.

Christopher Luxon.
Christopher Luxon. Photo credit: AM

"I'm not going to get into any electoral calculations - [it's] way too premature, way too early 18 months out from an election," Luxon told AM host Ryan Bridge.

Hooton noted on Tuesday it was unlikely the likes of Tamaki would hold the balance of power at election 2023.

"But, if he did, I hope ⁦@jacindaardern⁩ and @chrisluxonmp⁩ would do the right think and not deal with him, and instead set up a temporary grand coalition," he said on Twitter following the AM interview.

Latest polling shows National on 37 percent and Labour on 33 percent. The Greens were on 9 percent and ACT was on 11 percent.

Based on those numbers, the National Party could form a Government with ACT.