Election 2023: Battle of political size versus experience for Deputy Prime Minister role

With the soon-to-be governing parties having finally reached agreement, the posturing for positions has begun.  

ACT leader David Seymour has publicly made his case for becoming Deputy Prime Minister, but it looks like it's becoming a battle of political size versus experience.  

Spotted out in Epsom, Seymour, the local MP, helping one of his flock in a spot of bother.  

"Just visiting a constituent in the Epsom electorate. He's having some challenges with a negotiation he's involved in and I've found I can actually be quite helpful."   

Luxon's had some challenges alright.  

"There is massive urgency from my side and their side as well," he said on Tuesday.  

Though it genuinely, really does now actually seem like the threesome is close.  

"We have made great progress. We have just got to dot some 'i's and cross some 't's on most of the agreement. The only outstanding issues are ministerial responsibilities. We are in conversations with both party leaders about those positions today and late last night."   

They're now deciding who gets what seat at the Cabinet table - and how many.  

Seymour said proportionality matters to democracy.   

"Every person out there, their vote counts the same and so should their representation," he said.   

Dividing a 20-person Cabinet up proportionally by the election result and using some Swedish rounding means the National Party could get 14.3 ministers, ACT gets 3.3, and NZ First has 2.4. 

But of course, you can't have a minister split three ways.  

"What's important to me is that I want to use the talent that is across all three parties to make sure the skills, abilities and experience are being utilised and making sure we have a strong and stable Government," Luxon said.   

Seymour said: "We think that maths matters and people's votes should be represented in some kind of proportional way."  

But a Government led by which leadership pairing? The Deputy Prime Minister role is now in play.  

"If there's a second role in the Government that should go to the second party," Seymour said.   

"I think there's a clear case for that to happen."  

Peters is without a doubt the most experienced of the bunch, having played Deputy PM twice before. He refused to say on Tuesday when asked if he was going to get the job again.  

Luxon wouldn't say if the experience of Peters or maths of Seymour mattered more to him.  

If Luxon goes with Seymour as his Deputy PM, that would make for the most inexperienced leadership duo in our near 30-year MMP history with neither Luxon nor Seymour ever having been in Cabinet before.  

"It's largely a ceremonial role," Luxon said of the Deputy PM role.  

"It's a ceremonial role to actually fill in when I'm incapacitated, away or not in the House."  

A role which does matter, which the Nats are clearly willing to give away.  

"To be honest, I could start giving really excruciating detail, but I know if I did that, you would just start asking more questions. I know how you operate at Newshub. You are just newshounds," Seymour said.   

Sniff sniff, it smells like a deal might be close.