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Credible & Durable Govt "Not Difficult To Arrange"

Credible and durable government – “should not be too difficult to arrange…”

Both New Zealand First and United Future promised during the campaign to enter collation talks with the party that won the most seats and votes – that’s Labour. They also supported policies backed by the business community, especially the need for faster progress to fix transport and energy infrastructure.

“If both parties remain true to their pre-election principles then putting together a credible and durable coalition government should not be too difficult,” said Michael Barnett, Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive.

In gaining 22 new seats, National was clearly the big winner on election night, but at the end of the counting Labour was still ahead, and that is the reality that gives authority and credibility to Prime Minister Helen Clark as “first cab on the rank” to form a coalition government, said Mr Barnett.

If Helen Clark is to maintain her pragmatic principles, then she will ensure that the coalition takes some account of the policies that attracted voters to National – not just the support for tax cuts but issues to do with our race relations, social welfare, health and education.

“The election showed that New Zealand is a melting pot of different needs and aspirations. The Labour voting heartland may be south Auckland, but if Labour is smart, it will forge a coalition that governs for the rest of New Zealand as well.

Doing that will require Labour itself to take heed of the messages from the centre right of the political spectrum, which is why New Zealand First and United Future should be given the first chance to show that they will hold true to their election campaign principles of entering coalition talks with the party with most votes, he said.

At the end of the day, it is business that creates New Zealand’s wealth which provides the jobs and tax revenue government spends. “In the interests of building a coalition that has lasting credibility, it would be smart to ensure that the absolute needs of business are taken into account. A smart coalition negotiation will ensure that the critical issues of skills shortages, roading and energy infrastructure are included in the coalition arrangements in a way that keeps the economy growing and the business community confident.”

The business community will support a coalition government that creates credible and durable arrangements which keep New Zealand internationally competitive and attractive for doing business, he concluded.

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