Winston Peters has just announced who New Zealand First has decided to partner with. New Zealand First has announced a coalition with Labour to form the 52nd New Zealand government. Jacinda Ardern, who is set to become New Zealand’s third female Prime Minister, has reportedly offered Peters the role of Deputy Prime Minister; Peters says he has yet to decide whether he will take up the position.
The announcement comes nearly a month after the New Zealand general election on September 23rd. National won the election with 44.4% of the votes, Labour followed on 36.9%, NZ First on 7.2% and the Greens on 6.3%. When questioned about the Greens, Peters responded: “We entered the negotiations with Labour knowing they would handle the negotiations with the Greens.”
Peters has been negotiating with party leaders since October 8, the day after the special votes were counted on October 7. Prior to his announcement Peters said he did not believe that 11 days was too long to wait for a decision on the government. He said that the New Zealand First Party believed that the special votes would have a profound effect on the final outcome, which is why they waited for them to be counted before negotiating with parties.