National News

National News is brought to you by a partnership between Crux and RNZ News 

Coalition talks: Luxon, Seymour and Peters meet in person

Nov 15, 2023

By Russell Palmer and Craig McCulloch of RNZ

The leaders of all three parties negotiating to form a government have met together face to face for the first time since the election.

National leader Christopher Luxon, ACT leader David Seymour, and NZ First leader Winston Peters all confirmed the meeting had occurred, posting photos on social media.

The trio met at the Pullman Hotel's board room, which looks out over the historic Albert Park, in Auckland on Wednesday morning.

Seymour told RNZ the meeting was "congenial and promising" and they were "really really happy with it".

"It was useful to get all three of us in a room on neutral territory in a place where we can turn three into one for the purpose of delivering a government programme, but also recognise that we have three separate parties".

It showed they had reached another milestone, Seymour said, "but I wouldn't read that that necessarily means that a deal is imminent".

"If we haven't made the best deal to go forward as a stable and united government with good policies to address the considerable challenges we all face as a country then nobody will thank us for finishing it two days earlier."

Meetings and negotiations had been taking place since the election a month ago.

The previous day, both Luxon and Seymour had flown to Wellington in expectation of meeting with Peters but he had remained in Auckland and did not make the trip down to Wellington despite the rest of his caucus meeting at the party's temporary offices across the road from Parliament.

Several NZ First MPs had told reporters they did not know where their leader was on that day.

Seymour said the three leaders had not discussed Peters' absence from Wellington.

"We didn't discuss that. Sometimes there's a bit of confusion in the logistics and ultimately we can focus on that or we can focus on getting together a government with a policy programme that will address the challenges that people face.

"The meetings I had (on Tuesday) were with National and they were very productive so it certainly wasn't any kind of day of inaction, in fact a day of a lot of action, so no you can't be frustrated about having a day where you make some progress."

The Wednesday meeting appeared to be brief: Luxon was seen leaving his Auckland home about 8.30am, and the meeting was over about an hour later.

Seymour said it did not need to be a long meeting.

"It certainly served its purpose of getting us together and getting that dynamic of us three talking about how we can operate together and how a government can function," he said.

"But obviously each of us have quite a lot of detail to work out with each other in terms of how those particular policies and so on will go."

He said he "wouldn't be surprised" if he was to continue meeting with both leaders today.

"It'll be much like other days. Meet, check, compare, revise, meet again. I know it's not very exciting to try and file media reports on but at the same time it's just what we've got to do."

Main image (Twitter/Winston Peters): Winston Peters, Christopher Luxon and David Seymour all in a room together for the first time since the election. 

Advertise with Crux Advertise with Crux