Election 2023: Footage shows Winston Peters in aftermath of talks with ACT, David Seymour calls meeting 'cordial', 'promising' 

Coalition talks took a major symbolic step forward on Thursday with a years-old hatchet being buried.   

Winston Peters ended his silent treatment of David Seymour, visiting the ACT leader for a 20-minute-long meeting. 

Peters walked through Parliament to the meeting the country had been waiting for. About 20 minutes later, he strolled out of ACT HQ having thawed the freezer.    

After Peters left, Newshub asked if they were closer to a government deal, but he wouldn't answer.

The two - Peters and Seymour - have been fierce political foes.    

But that all has to end now - they need to go into Government.   

These coalition talks have kicked up a gear.    

It started with weather chat, the ultimate deflection from the real chat. Asked how coalition talks were going, National leader Christopher Luxon said it was a "beautiful sunny day in Wellington". 

On that, he has agreement.   

"You can't beat Wellington on a good day," Seymour told Newshub.   

But Luxon is yet to reach the agreements he needs.   

Asked if they would get a deal this week, Luxon said: "We won't talk about that but we're working hard."

So in he went to Parliament on Thursday morning to try and get it done.   

All three parties were in town and the silent one - Peters - finally found his voice, taking several questions from the media at an impromptu press conference.    

All three parties haven't been in one room. Luxon said that would happen "shortly".   

Seymour said: "We've got an open door and we've reached out in various ways so remains to be seen but we're here and we're ready to talk."   

Peters said: "It's axiomatic that I'm negotiating and so is he negotiating with the National Party. Those are the critical engagements we're involved in."   

By mid-afternoon, Peters promised a face-to-face conversation with Seymour was on the cards. By early evening he delivered.    

Luxon stuck to his guns, keeping talks under wraps.   

"We're not going to talk about the conversations that are taking place just to say I'm really pleased with the progress we're getting closer," he said.  

Progress had stalled with ACT while Luxon got down to business with New Zealand First, but it was ACT's turn at the table on Thursday.    

"Basically, there is a parallel process going on where you have got to first of all exchange a lot of information, then process it, and then deliberate on it. That has really continued as fast as it could, given the different steps in that process," Seymour said.    

Luxon said there was "more to do".   

New Zealand First MP Shane Jones picked up essentials in case it's a long haul, saying he was off to buy underwear.    

Everyone stared down the detractors - defending the delay to democracy.   

"We are all committed to making sure we get through as quickly as we possibly can," said Luxon. "As soon as we have something to tell you, we definitely will."   

"The last few days we have been flat out all day and half the darn night," said Peters. "Speed is of the essence.  We are not wasting time here. Some of us would like to get back home."   

"Each party says they want it to happen quickly. I think everyone does but no one party can dictate the outcome or the timing of the outcome," said Seymour.    

Jenna Lynch analysis   

I've just got off the phone with Seymour who told me it was a "cordial" and "promising" meeting.  

As for whether that speeds up negotiations - possibly not - but it is a good sign.   

It does build confidence these two, who've been at each other's throat - literally threatening to fight each other once upon a time - can stomach being in the same room together at least.   

As for how long it may go on, sources are telling me nothing before the weekend and we're in the tricky bit of the talks, so it's hard for anyone to pick an end date.