29 Nov 2011

Asset sales could be excluded from deal, says Maori Party

6:27 pm on 29 November 2011

The Maori Party is hoping it can reach a confidence and supply agreement with the National Party without having to support the partial sale of state assets.

Prime Minister John Key held a first round of talks on Monday with with ACT, United Future and the Maori Party as it moves to form the next government.

The party hopes it can enter into a formal arrangement with National without compromising its flagship social service Whanau Ora, introduced under the last administration, or having to support National's policy to sell part of some state assets.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says her party will not support the sale of shares in state assets.

She says an agreement could be reached without Maori Party MPs having to vote for any sales.

"Confidence and supply is about budget and I'm not anticipating that as being part of any confidence and supply."

Maori Party president Pem Bird, is leading the party's negotiating group says the only way for a party to make gains of significance is to be at the table.

He said he didn't necessarily agree with the analysis that the party's fall in support this election was due to its relationship with the National Party in the last Parliamentary term.

He said the party didn't get the message through about the gains made last term, and the perception that the party was a sell out grew in momentum.

Mr Bird says the party would only enter a formal arrangement if it gets the support from its people.

The party plans to hold a series of meetings with its supporters before committing to any deal.