Decision on NZ government looming

Winston Peters as PM technically possible hugely unlikely

HAGEN HOPKINS GETTY IMAGES Winston Peters as PM technically possible hugely unlikely

"New Zealand First values our board members' privacy", he said.

Unlike the National and Labour parties, NZ First's website gives no details on the membership of its non-parliamentary governance structures although the Electoral Commission carries the party's constitution, which opens with a commitment to "open and accountable government" and "consensus". For some, it was "personal" that they were members of the NZ First board although their membership was "not a secret" and their identities would become clear once they had been consulted and a government formed.

He first told reporters that board members could have been identified at the party's annual conference earlier this year, but later put out a statement saying their identities would be protected.

Winston Peters needs no introduction.

Ardern has brought Labour within reach of forming government since becoming party leader in August, with a Labour-Green bloc winning 54 seats, two seats short of the ruling National's 56. Leader Winston Peters said that was because members were entitled to privacy. Works in sales and teaches martial arts and stood in Epsom at the election.

The Labour leader emerged from her latest meeting with NZ First stressing the importance of the process being undertaken.

Talks today are the fifth and final day of negotiations.

"That's just something you're going to have to live with".

"So have you got that?"

Mr Peters said it's tough but he can't avoid his responsibilities.

Peters has previously served in both National and Labour governments.

"It depends upon the logistical availability of the board, which could be Saturday, Sunday or Monday".

He ruled out using teleconferencing or Skype. "We thought we could circumvent all of that by doing it by Skype but that would not be the kind of serious discussion we need to have".

NZ First leader Winston Peters has pushed out his deadline for an announcement on which side he will back, and now says it will be made "as soon as possible after Thursday night".

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