Winston Peters touches down in Wellington, refuses to speak to media again

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has returned to Wellington to meet with members of his caucus, but he has refused to speak to media.

He touched down at Wellington Airport at around 12:15pm on Monday and despite being peppered with questions from journalists, said very little. He waved out to a few members of the public.

Peters took a cab to the Treasury offices, near where New Zealand First is currently based. He was greeted by media, but still refused to say anything.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. Photo credit: Newshub

The final election results last week showed New Zealand First would be needed by National and ACT to form a Government. Together, National and ACT received 59 seats, below the 62 seats necessary to have a majority in Parliament.

Coalition negotiations have for the most part been taking place in Auckland, focused on what National leader Christopher Luxon has called "relationship building".

New Zealand First soon-to-be MPs Newshub caught up with outside the party's office on Monday morning didn't want to talk about coalition negotiations.

Mark Patterson, who served in Parliament for the party between 2017 and 2020 and is returning, was asked how the discussions were progressing.

"Find out this morning, I guess," he replied.

Asked by Newshub if it would be premature for National and ACT to be drafting a coalition agreement, Patterson said: "It would be for us because we haven't seen anything yet."

It was reported by The Post over the weekend that a draft coalition agreement was being drawn up by National's Christopher Luxon and ACT leader David Seymour.

NZ First's Jamie Arbuckle said, "no comment", to questions on Monday morning.

Peters on Sunday said he planned to meet face-to-face with Seymour. The pair are yet to meet to discuss coalition plans.

"You know that I'm a people person, I'd rather see somebody in person rather than do it over the phone so to speak," Peters said.

Seymour told Newshub on Thursday that he had reached out to New Zealand First. But he hadn't received any response.

"We have been open and reached out to all parties, we've had different results in terms of the negotiations that we've done so far but we think it's possible to get a deal next week," Seymour said.

Peters said on Sunday that he thought the call may have been "fake".

"I can tell you the truth on that, the communication came without any identification and I'll explain it to him when I do see him," Peters said.

Appearing on AM on Monday morning, Seymour elaborated on what he had said to Peters.

"I generally don't go into it but something like, 'Hi, congratulations on your election result. We should get together, David Seymour'."

"I also called first before texting so pretty standard stuff for people trying to contact each other in the 21st century. But look it sounds like he's now got the message via the media so I hope we will be sitting down this week and that will allow us to put together the government people have voted for."

Luxon has refused to provide any detail on how coalition talks are going, but said on Monday it was his intention for all three parties to get into a room together.

"Look, at this stage, we've got to accelerate and crack on with the arrangements and the conversations that we need to have this week, but yes, that's our intention is all to come together at some point," he said.

National has been meeting individually with New Zealand First and ACT.

"It's really been me talking with the teams and the leaders from each of those respective parties and making sure we can understand what each other needs in a government so that we actually can make sure we form a strong and stable government," he told AM.

"What's common in those conversations is there's very strong alignment around rebuilding the economy, restoring law and order, delivering better health and education, the things that we all campaigned on, the means by which we deliver those things may be slightly different and yes, there'll be some trade-offs that will be needed from all three parties."

He wouldn't explain what those trade-offs might be.