New Zealand must wait for new government as coalition talks extend past deadline

New Zealand must wait for new government as coalition talks extend past deadline

After five days of multi-party negotiations, New Zealand’s new government was due to be announced tonight.  After extensive discussions, kingmaker

New Zealand First’s Winston Peters says a coalition announcement must wait

Photo: Reuters/Charlotte Greenfield

After five days of multi-party negotiations, New Zealand’s new government was due to be announced tonight.  After extensive discussions, kingmaker Winston Peters—the leader of the nationalist New Zealand First party—insisted the party needed more time to approve any deal.

New Zealand First shares most common ground with the centre-left Labour party. Both want cuts to immigration and support a renegotiation of the current iteration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Regardless, a deal with Labour would be unwieldy; the party only has the numbers for a three-way coalition, which must include the leftist Greens—a hard sell to the nationalists.

Mr Peters has a long history of advocating for restricting foreign interests in New Zealand. In exchange for his support for the centre-right, Peters is likely to pressure the pro-business National Party to limit immigration and make uncomfortable interventions in the housing market by increasing restrictions on foreign ownership and investment.

A final announcement is likely on Friday, although talks could go into the weekend.

Wake up smart. Download The Daily Brief app.