Election 2023: Winston Peters shares image with Christopher Luxon, David Seymour

Election 2023: Winston Peters shares image with Christopher Luxon, David Seymour
Photo credit: Winston Peters/Twitter.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has shared an image of himself sitting with National leader Christopher Luxon and ACT leader David Seymour.

The trio met on Wednesday morning for the first time as a threesome since the final election results confirmed all three parties would be needed to form a Government.

While it was signalled that a meeting of the three could take place in Wellington on Tuesday, Peters never showed, leading Luxon and Seymour to fly back to Auckland for Wednesday's rendezvous.

Luxon also posted an image with a caption following the meeting.

"Good meeting. There's still work to do - but making serious progress to forming a government to deliver for Kiwis," the National leader said.

Seymour said: "A government is forming. ACT is here to ensure it is a government of real change."

Speaking to Newshub after the meeting, Seymour said it had been "very positive" and "encouraging". He said the image was of "three people that can actually work together to solve the very serious challenges".

"We talked about how the rest of the negotiation goes, how we can work together on getting to a deal as quickly as possible, but also have a good deal because, you know, in two years time, if we don't get the arrangement of this government right, no one is going to thank us for doing it two days earlier."

He said the meeting lasted about 30 minutes.

"Enough time for everyone to have their say and a bit of a chat about how things are going and how we'd like it to go in days to come.

"Obviously, the overall process will require more meetings and more haggling and more agreements. I recognise that people are probably getting a bit impatient with that process. All I can say is that we want to do the fastest deal, but we also want to do the best deal and that's what we're working hard every day to ensure we achieve."

There is no question the parties are "vastly closer" to an agreement than several weeks ago, Seymour said. 

"We've narrowed the range of issues where we're still trying to nail down an agreement. We've covered off a lot of aspects of the agreement that I believe are fairly settled now. There are still a few steps to go."

He believed there were "several days" of talks to go. Once each party's negotiators have reached agreements, those deals need to be taken back to the parties' caucuses and boards.

When Luxon returned to Auckland on Tuesday night, he would only say that he'd had a "great day" and a "great series of engagements with both parties".

"We've made great progress, we've got a bit more to do," he said, adding he wouldn't talk about coalition arrangements.

Newshub understands National and ACT met on Tuesday, while Peters and Luxon spoke multiple times on the phone.

Spotted a few minutes later at the airport on Tuesday night after getting off the same flight, Seymour told waiting media there weren't any "formal agreements" to see Peters that day, and he'd had "great meetings" with National.

"Not everyone showed up but hey what can you do," Seymour said.

Relations between ACT and New Zealand First have begun thawing over the past week. 

On Wednesday, ACT Chief of Staff Andrew Ketels and New Zealand First staffer Darroch Ball met for the first time. On Thursday, Peters and Ball were spotted by Newshub leaving ACT's offices, and then on Friday, Seymour spoke to media as he went to New Zealand First.

One of the issues thought to be a sticking point in talks is National's tax plan, which includes using revenue from a foreign buyers tax to pay for tax relief. New Zealand First has historically been opposed to allowing foreigners to buy up New Zealand land.