11 Dec 2011

Maori Party signs deal with National

10:18 pm on 11 December 2011

A new Government will be sworn in on Wednesday now that the Maori Party has pledged its support to the National Party.

Under the deal signed on Sunday the Maori Party will vote with National on confidence and supply while being free to oppose it on all other matters.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says that means it will vote against plans to partially privatise state-owned energy companies.

Prime Minister John Key says the agreement will make governing that much easier over the next three years.

He says National does not need the Maori Party's support but its three votes will be a big help.

Otherwise National would have had just a one-vote majority.

National will now form the next Government with 64 votes on confidence and supply in the 121-seat Parliament.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the party only agreed to the deal after consulting its members.

He says it conducted over 40 meetings which were attended by more than 1000 people.

"It was unanimous that we should continue to be at the table in the capacity that we were last time and that's not just confidence and supply, it's really a relationship accord with confidence and supply", he says.

As part of the deal National will continue to support the Whanau Ora programme and it has also agreed to set up a ministerial committee on poverty.

National has already signed confidence-and-supply agreements with United Future and ACT.

To its own 59 seats it can add three from the Maori Party and one each from United Future and ACT, making 64 in all.

Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia will continue to be ministers outside Cabinet.

Mr Key will name his Cabinet on Monday morning and ministers will be sworn in on Wednesday.