13 Oct 2017

New Zealand First MPs in full-day meeting

8:11 am on 13 October 2017

Different government formations and ministerial positions will be discussed at a New Zealand First caucus meeting likely to last all day.

Winston Peters after meeting 12/10/17

Winston Peters leaving another coalition negotiation yesterday. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The final round of negotiations wrapped up last night, ending five days of back-to-back meetings with National and Labour.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said he would announce which party his will form a government with by the end of next week.

But there is still no indication exactly when that will be. Mr Peters is still working on bringing together his board, which has to sign off any decision, meaning an announcement will be at the weekend at the earliest.

Mr Peters said he was very pleased to have all the policy discussion finished.

"We got a seriously comprehensive dossier for both sides, and there's some fiscals to be shared to make sure that we do agree, but the substantive part for discussion for caucus has been done."

There were nine different governing arrangements and they were all still on the table, Mr Peters said.

He said ministerial positions had not been discussed with National or Labour, and with no more face-to-face meetings planned, any further correspondence would be conducted over phone and text.

"If we can't get an agreement on policy everything else is irrelevant. Otherwise you could just say 'look I'd look after the portfolio and forget about the policy', and we're not going to do that."

Mr Peters said the board could meet on Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

"Honestly, I don't know.

"As soon as I know what's happening with a tangi that a board member has got to go to, there's no way around it, we'll know."

When asked whether the public would know by the end of next week, he paused before answering "yes".

'There must be a stumbling block'

A former deputy leader of New Zealand First, Peter Brown, told Morning Report he was disappointed there was still no coalition decision.

"There must be a stumbling block.

"I know Winston, when he sets a deadline he likes to keep it. I think he will be as disappointed as anyone that he hasn't kept it.

"But he's obviously got something that needs some further investigation."

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