Thursday, 23 November, 2017

New Zealand still deadlocked after postal, overseas votes

Political reporters on stakeout in Parliament Political reporters on stakeout in Parliament
Patty Aguilar | 10 October, 2017, 16:42

Labour won 46 seats, one more than the preliminary count after the September 23 vote, and the Greens lifted their tally to eight from seven.

Two weeks after New Zealand's general election the outcome remained unclear today as the counting of postal and overseas votes failed to give any party a clear majority, leaving maverick MP Winston Peters as kingmaker.

"We're talking about what it takes to form a government - everything that involves putting together a government, so it's broad ranging, it covers all the basis, and it's going very well", he said.

"Today's final election count has strengthened the mandate for change", she said in a statement.

Shaw also said he was "thrilled" to welcome Ghahraman to parliament as a Greens MP, and said her experience in global law and human rights would be invaluable to caucus and parliament.

Prime Minister, Bill English said the final results did not change the nature of the negotiations. The party that commanded 13.4 per cent of the vote at the first MMP election in 1996 won 10.4 per cent at its next peak in 2002 and 8.7 per cent when it last crested in 2014.

Winston Peters, New Zealand First party leader, has captured media attention after his outspoken comments on immigration.

Peters has said he would only make a decision on which party to back after the final tally and after the results become official on October 12.

Asked if foreign ownership had come up, Peters said "I don't think there's anyone in the press gallery who would not think foreign ownership is part of these talks".

When he was asked by a journalist if he was focusing on the same policy areas for both parties, Mr Peters launched into a verbal attack on a past article they had written.

Ardern, meanwhile, highlighted that most electors had voted for change. "I don't want to presume what will be a hurdle".

The Act party continues to hold one parliamentary seat that could assist National in government, but is essentially irrelevant to coalition negotiations.

The policy wins New Zealand First could secure in the negotiations include a major cut to migration rates, a guarantee to keep the retirement age at 65, a ban on non-resident foreigners buying property in New Zealand, and commitment to for a manned re-entry into the Pike River Mine to recover the bodies of 29 men who died in an explosion in 2010.

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