New Zealand parties in coalition govt talks


Winston Peters said he plans to wrap up coalition discussions by Thursday evening, and he will make an announcement "as soon as possible" after that - despite previously setting October 12 as the deadline for a decision.

It left the power to form a government in the hands of Peters and the nine seats held by his New Zealand First Party.

"Negotiations will continue for Labour with the parties that we are looking to form a stable, durable, coalition government with".

National won 56 seats in parliament, losing two seats to the Labour-Green bloc which together took 54 seats.

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Although neither English nor the charismatic Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern have revealed what they are prepared to concede in talks with Peters, English said he was "determined" to lead the next government.

A final vote count on Saturday showed National lost some ground to the Labour-Green bloc from a preliminary tally, even though it still held the largest number of seats in parliament.

The New Zealand dollar has dropped around 3.7 percent since the election on September 23, hitting a four-month low of low of $0.7052 on Monday.

That uncertainty has been compounded by concerns that a government including the nationalist New Zealand First would lead to more economically interventionist policies.

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"I think on Monday the market is going to be a little bit subdued because basically nothing has changed", said Stuart Ive, private client manager at OM Financial.

But he backed away from the pledge late Tuesday after wrapping up another session of negotiations with English's centre-right National Party. Both parties also favor curbs on immigration, foreign ownership and the renegotiation of certain trade deals.

Two weeks after New Zealand's general election the outcome remained unclear today as the counting of postal and overseas votes failed to give any party a clear majority, leaving maverick MP Winston Peters as kingmaker.

"You could say that the policies are probably more aligned to a Labour-Green-NZ First partnership but a three-way coalition is a lot harder to manage than a two-way coalition".

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