The results we have all been waiting for are out. The New Zealand General Election 2017 final results are as follows:
NATIONAL: 56 M.P.’s
LABOUR: 46 M.P.’s
NEW ZEALAND FIRST: 9 M.P.’s
GREEN PARTY: 8 M.P.’s
A.C.T.: 1 M.P.
The losers are National, who lose Maureen Pugh and Nicola Willis.
The winners are Labour who welcome Angie Warren Clark, who works for Womens Refuge in Hawkes Bay becomes their 46th Member of Parliament. The other winner is the Greens who welcome former Iranian refugee and notable human rights lawyer Golriz Ghahraman to their respective caucuses.
The real winner though is New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. As leader of the party that will have to do a coalition deal with one or the other, Mr Peters occupies what would be reasonably called pole position in the context of coalition negotiations.
This simplifies the potential equations significantly. There are now two clear cut coalition options for Mr Peters to consider. One is Labour+Greens+New Zealand First and the other Is National+New Zealand First. Due to acrimony between New Zealand First and A.C.T there is no prospect of A.C.T joining a coalition.
I believe some seriously heavy bargaining will now take place. People have not forgotten the nine week wake of 1996 when an election held in October of that year resulted in a hung Parliament and
Either way Mr Peters is going to pilloried for his decision. There will be conservative members of the Party who will wish he goes with National and there will be left leaning members (and former members such as myself)who will wish he goes with Labour and the Greens.
Either way there are some great things likely to happen now, such as a significant increase in emphasis on railway transport; the housing crisis will have to be addressed in some form and the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement may be finally killed off.
So, let the coalition negotiations start, and hopefully in the near future I will be able to report the signing of a deal between New Zealand First and National or Labour/Greens.