NZ talks end, Peters has 'open mind'

New Zealand's'kingmaker extends election limbo

New Zealand's'kingmaker extends election limbo  12 Oct 2017- 8:50

The board of the nationalist New Zealand First party that holds the balance of power in negotiations with the ruling center-right National Party and the challenging center-left Labour Party will then meet on Friday to discuss its options.

"We worked overnight and early in the morning with the objective of getting as much completed in terms of a summation both from the caucus' and the board's point of view. making sure we have a very clear idea of what we need to enquire from the other parties to make sure there is doubts", Peters said.

Peters fuelled those fears earlier this week when he said that exporters should welcome the recent fall in the local currency.

"New Zealand First values transparency but we also value an individual's privacy especially when they volunteer their services".

He said talks so far had focused on policy, with no discussions yet on ministerial portfolios or offices.

That meeting will continue on Friday.

After the negotiation meetings ended, the NZ First caucus went into a late-night meeting to draw up documents detailing the deals offered by National and Labour.

"It's extraordinarily hard to meet timelines, particularly on this matter that if you are jamming a timeline against a public statement of a date, and you compromise the quality of your decision, that would not be a very good idea, but we know time is of the essence".

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Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said: "I can't defend those actions, but I can try my best to make sure it never happens again". The release continued, "We are appalled and disgusted by the racist comments that appeared on social media".

Winston Peters talks to media following his final meeting with National.

"It depends upon the logistical availability of the board which will be Saturday, Sunday or Monday", Peters told reporters.

"Obviously they [NZ First] have got to chew the fat amongst themselves and see which way they are going to go ... we respect that". He said he thought Peters' decision could go either way.

He said negotiations with Labour have mostly finished but there were still some small things to finalise.

"We're nearing the end stages".

Newshub's political editor Patrick Gower said Peters was holding the two major parties "hostage", as well as the media and voters, while the New Zealand Herald's political editor Barry Soper said, referring to the anonymous board members: "It could be Maud from Mataura or Doug from Dargaville who'll be deciding who's going to govern us for the next three years".

"Overall this has been a good process that has been followed", Ardern said. If we've done enough work, the consideration that happens on Monday should take far less than the time we're doing [with the work] we're involved with now, " he said. "I wouldn't take a guess at what anyone is thinking".

The Greens have been on standby to conduct a special meeting of delegates via teleconference to get the at least 7% accord needed to sign off the agreement.

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