26 Sep 2017

VIDEO: Jacinda Ardern on coalition talks

8:23 am on 26 September 2017

There's an expectation that both the Greens and New Zealand First would have senior roles in a three-way coalition, says Labour leader Jacinda Ardern.

Watch Jacinda Adern speaking to Morning Report's Susie Ferguson here:

Ms Ardern repeated her pledge there would be no referendum on the Māori seats in coalition talks with New Zealand First.

"From the beginning we took a strong position on it. We've maintained that position."

Ms Ardern told Morning Report Labour would will negotiate separately with the Greens and New Zealand First.

Labour has already spoken with Green Party leader James Shaw.

On whether Labour would lock the Greens out of government if that was a New Zealand First condition, Ms Ardern said there was an expectation on both sides that they had senior involvement.

"I think there's an expectation from voters that we give due respect to the role that [the Greens] have to play in this given the proportion of the vote that they carry.

"It does them a disservice to say they'd be easier to manage and therefore we'd would leave them out.

"I don't think that's the way that I would frame that relationship.

"They've had a decent percentage of New Zealanders who have voted for them with the expectation they have a role to play."

There were iterations of roles in a three-way coalition - "inside Cabinet, outside Cabinet - that's what needs to be negotiated".

She said Labour had a mandate to negotiate despite the expectation that the larger party started negotiations.

"We've had an outcome in this election where the majority of New Zealanders voted against the status quo and that is what gives us the mandate to negotiate.

"There's been in the past ...an expectation that the larger party does tend to kick off and does tend to be successful in those negotiations.

"But I've also maintained that we've got a requirement and a responsiblity where the majority of votes have landed to undertake those negotiations too."

Ms Ardern said Labour's chief of staff had contacted the New Zealand First team saying the party was available for talks.

The negotiating team would be a small, senior group she said, but would not specify who was in it.