NZ First set for 'preliminary discussions' today with National and Labour about coalitions

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NZN

New Zealand First will today hold preliminary discussions with both National and Labour about potential coalition deals.

Winston Peters will meet with the parties today, but insists no serious decisions will be made before the special votes are counted on Sunday.
Source: 1 NEWS

The meeting with National will take place this morning and with Labour in the afternoon, NZ First leader Winston Peters said in a brief statement yesterday.

He has previously said formal coalition negotiations can't take place until special votes have been counted and announced on Saturday.

Today's meetings have been arranged since Prime Minister Bill English and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern called Mr Peters on Monday.

They wanted to get discussions underway as soon as possible because Mr Peters has said he will announce on October 12 which side he will join to form a government.

Both main party leaders think that's a very tight deadline.

The Greens will also be involved, but initially Labour will represent them in negotiations.

Labour will be meeting with the New Zealand First leader tomorrow afternoon.
Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Ardern is looking at forming a three-way coalition.

On the election night results, Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First would have 61 seats - a single vote majority in parliament.

National and New Zealand First could form a two party coalition and hold 67 seats - a comfortable majority.

Labour and the Greens expect to pick up seats when special votes have been counted, which would give a three-way coalition a better chance.

Today's meetings are expected to set out a framework for next week's negotiations.

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