PM Press Conference – Coalition With Winston Not Ruled Out | Cabinet Reshuffle - 21 January August 2013
By Peter Kerr
The Winston Peters led New Zealand First party has been brought in from the cold with Prime Minister John Key‘s announcement at his first press conference of the year that a post-election coalition could be possible between it and National.
The Tuesday 21 January announcement was that National, if in a position to form a government, would prefer to partner with the three parties which support it on confidence and supply; ACT, The Maori Party and United Future.
The Conservative Party could also be added, “as there is enough common ground to form a workable government,” said Key.
As a transparency signal to the electorate Key ruled out working with Labour, the Greens and Mana parties.
“We’re not prepared to totally rule out working with New Zealand First,” Key said, though no discussions have yet taken place with Winston Peters.
Other points made by John Key at the press conference and later questions were:
• United Future
leader Peter Dunne’s return to cabinet
• Murray McCully will likely stand in his East Coast Bays electorate, competing against The Conservative Party leader Colin Craig
• Political parties are much more savvy on the cobbling together of a governing entity since MMP’s introduction in 1996
• New Zealand will receive more than four weeks notice on the late 2014 election date. A very early 2011 date was provided because of the distraction caused by the Rugby World Cup
• Neither John Key nor Barack Obama beat each other at golf – they were both on the same side in their Hawaii game!