Election 2023: Newshub's Jenna Lynch says co-deputy PM role is 'live issue' – how it could work

As talks over the makeup of the new Government coalition drag into a 20th day, a drastic measure taken to resolve what appears to be the biggest stumbling block between the three parties could be on the cards.  

With exactly who takes the role of deputy Prime Minister appearing to be the last thing holding up the final I's being dotted and T's being crossed, ACT's David Seymour and New Zealand First's Winston Peters could share the role, according to Newshub political editor Jenna Lynch.   

It comes after the three negotiating parties – National, ACT and New Zealand First – agreed to policy programmes and have spent recent days finalising ministerial appointments. There are hopes a deal could be struck this week.  

Providing an update on the negotiations, Lynch told AM on Thursday morning there is hope a deal could be struck today.   

"There were calls late into the evening, as I understand it, late into the night last night, but it doesn't appear a deal has been struck overnight. There is still a chance that something could be done this morning or over the course of the day," she said.   

"But once a deal is done, it still needs to go to the three parties' boards for the final signoff... everyone's hoping for an announcement of a government today. That is certainly the hope from most quarters, but not quite there yet is the message we are getting."  

With the deputy Prime Minister role looking like the last stumbling block, Lynch told AM a shared role still remains on the table, despite it never being done before.  

"This prospect of a co-deputy Prime Ministership seems to be gathering speed. Christopher Luxon didn't rule out that possibility yesterday, and I've just been told by a source that is a live issue," Lynch said.   

"The deputy Prime Minister role is an important one as much as Christopher Luxon is calling it a ceremonial job. That is the person that steps in for the Prime Minister should they be away, should they be incapacitated, should they go on maternity leave for six weeks as Jacinda Ardern did and we saw Winston Peters step into the acting Prime Minister role for six weeks in that 2017 term."  

But how that role would work is anyone's guess with Lynch suggesting shift work as a potential option.   

"How a co-deputy Prime Ministership might work, it hasn't been done before, not too sure. Maybe it could work like the leadership of another party where they just pick the issues that they want to stand up on. Maybe a time-share role. Someone clocks on at midnight and clocks off at noon. Maybe they get a few months each in the role, but seems to be a live issue," Lynch said.  

Watch the full video above.