Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Foreign investment a focus in NZ kingmaker Winston Peters' coalition talks

Foreign investment a focus in NZ kingmaker Winston Peters' coalition talks

While National won the biggest share of the vote, the chances of it failing to secure a fourth term in office increased over the weekend when official election results handed Labour and its ally, the Greens, two additional seats.

Labour did 7% better on special votes than it did on votes cast on election day, which raised its percentage of votes to 36.9% and 46 MPs, bringing Annie Warren-Clark into Parliament.

The progress was touted by Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, who said that the "development buoyed [the party's] position at the negotiating table".

'This now means that we have a strengthened mandate to negotiate and form a durable, stable coalition government'.

This is the third time Peters, 72, has held the balance of power after an election and he has previously formed coalitions with both National and Labour.

A National/NZ First government would have 65 seats, while a Labour/Greens/NZ First government would have 63 seats.

The NZ First leader said he couldn't talk about any policy areas under discussion.

The populist New Zealand First party is expected to hold the balance of power in the country's next parliament following the release of the final election tally on Saturday.

"It did pay to wait, didn't it?", Peters said, referring to the final vote count.

James Shaw celebrating with his fellow party members at the Greens electrate party.

But a strong challenge from Labour under 37-year-old Ardern has highlighted growing concerns about poverty, homelessness and the environment which the new government will need to address. The 1996 election was much tighter than 2005 in which Labour won a wide lead.

"It's because there's that nationalist and protectionist sentiment, but also I think Winston Peters' personality is an attraction to some people", he said.

Peters hasn't indicated which of the larger parties he favors.

Ardern, meanwhile, highlighted that most electors had voted for change.

Over the past nine years of National government, Peters has repeatedly opined on his many "bottom lines" if he were to form a coalition government. It wants to ban overseas buyers from purchasing existing homes as it tries to tackle what it has described as a housing crisis in New Zealand.

We're all going into these talks informed about the other side's view, ' he said.

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