Newshub Nation: Important values for Winston Peters during coalition negotiations revealed by former NZ First MP Ron Mark

Christopher Luxon and Winston Peters have been talking and there is speculation that Luxon will include NZ First in its coalition negotiations to assert a stronger hold on power.   

With special votes still to come in, and generally leaning towards the left, Peters may become essential to National forming a majority Government.

Former NZ First MP Ron Mark sat down with Newshub Nation co-host Rebecca Wright to share his insider knowledge and predictions about how the coalition negotiations with Winston Peters will play out.   

Speaking of Peters, Mark said: "He's got a hide like a rhino, but a memory like an elephant."

Mark also revealed that Peters leaves a lot of the negotiations up to the members of NZ First's team that he trusts.   

"It may surprise everyone, but he doesn’t run them all on his own," he said.  

"Winston gave me the flexibility and the room to maneuver. If he trusts you with a portfolio, it's your gig."  

Mark said that the work in establishing policy setting would have been done before the election and negotiations will happen within those boundaries.   

"If you're true to the policy, it's your gig."  

He predicted that Shane Jones and Mark Patterson, who sit at second and fourth on NZ First's list respectively, will have their say.  

"Winston will be the moderating chair of the negotiation panel, but I had total freedom, and then from that, I got the total backing," Mark said. 

He also said that, while Peters won't say it, he demands respect during coalition negotiations,  

Mark also mentioned manners and courtesy as critical during negotiations.   

"Relationships underpin everything, confidence in the person sitting across from you.

"You can't pull the wool," Mark said.   

Peters will be having extensive discussions with Luxon if negotiations are to succeed and Mark thinks that "he respects Luxon".  

"He may not agree with everything but he respects his background and what he's achieved.

"Achievement is everything," Mark said.  

Responding to Luxon's refusal to engage with media questions about coalition talks, Mark said that Luxon "knows that petulant comments on the sideline are not going to help your negotiations for a merger".  

After being Deputy Prime Minister in 2017, questions are swirling as to whether Peters will shoot for the role again.   

Mark said he's "never never never never heard Winston say he wants to be Prime Minister".  

Instead, Mark said the pressure to get significant roles comes from within the party.  

"The caucus says you've got to be Deputy."  

If he does enter a coalition with National, Peters will have to work with David Seymour and the ACT Party in some capacity.  

Asked what the relationship is between Peters and Seymour, Mark said "it'll be whatever David wants it to be".  

Mark said that Peters is "a forgiving person," perhaps signalling that Peters will be able to look past his previously fraught relationship with Seymour, if Seymour is also able to.  

"I don't know if David's a forgiving person, I hope he is," Mark said.  

"Either way, there's banter on the election trail and that's what it is."  

Watch the full video for more. 

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