Jacinda Ardern and Kelvin Davis, close friend of Winston Peters, to lead Labour coalition negotiations

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1 NEWS

Jacinda Ardern announced this afternoon that herself and deputy Kelvin Davis will be on Labour's negotiations team for coalition talks with New Zealand First, but declined to comment on who else would be there.

The Labour leader says she will confirm the rest of the team closer to the talks taking place.
Source: 1 NEWS

She said meetings would be held within the next day or two to decide, and that she had some good ideas of who it would be, but it needed to be confirmed.

The party is preparing policy before coalition talks begin with New Zealand First.

Mr Davis and Mr Peters both have links with Northland and are close personally. 

This follows the Green Party announcing their team, which consists of James Shaw, Eugenie Sage, Tory Whanau, Debs Martin and Andrew Campbell.

National's deputy leader Paula Bennett has also said she will give up the role to the NZ First leader.
Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Ardern said Labour has now contacted New Zealand First to initiate the coalition negotiations.

"We're willing and available when he [Mr Peters] is ready," Ms Ardern said.

She reiterated that talks between Labour and New Zealand First would be "very much one-on-one", as opposed to being three-way talks between them and the Green Party.

Mr Davis also said he would be open to matching the potential concession laid out this morning by National Party deputy Paula Bennett - that Mr Peters could take over as deputy prime minister.

Mr Davis said making Ms Ardern the prime minister was his primary focus.

"It's not something we would give up lightly, but Jacinda being the prime minister is the main focus."
 

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