National leader Christopher Luxon says parties have achieved a “significant milestone” in coalition talks.
There has been mounting pressure for talks to reach an agreement. Official election results were confirmed on November 3.
Discussions have continued for much of the last week at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland, but some discussions were held at Luxon’s home today.
Shortly after 3pm today, Luxon emerged to meet media with deputy Nicola Willis.
“We’ve achieved, I think, a significant milestone overnight,” he said.
“That is that we’ve actually closed out an agreed policy programme with both ACT and also New Zealand First. That’s a major achievement.”
Luxon said ACT and New Zealand First had discussed their “major priorities” and continued discussions today to “make sure they can both sign on to each other’s policy programmes and agendas that we have agreed with them individually”.
“We want them to be able to support each other’s programmes.”
“Now, today, we want to sort of kick on and move on into ministerial responsibilities and Cabinet positions.”
Luxon said he did not expect that to take long but would not provide a timeframe.
However, 1News understands that nothing is signed yet or fully complete and Luxon may have got a bit ahead of himself.
It’s not clear if there will be more meetings tonight or tomorrow morning.
ACT’s David Seymour said things were very close, but not there just yet.
“I wouldn’t say it’s as close as Chris Luxon says. I suspect Chris got up and had one too many Weet-Bix, but I can understand his enthusiasm, there’s just a couple more steps to go.”
NZ First’s Winston Peters said a deal hadn’t been reached yet but they were at the final stages with just a few “cross checks to go, and confirmation that the words and letters are right”.
He said discussion on ministerial positions was a “work in progress”.
Luxon said he was “very relieved” policy discussions had resolved.
“I appreciate everybody’s patience with the process but I do believe that it will actually make for a much stronger government.
“People voted for change … that’s what these three parties are going to deliver.”
He said all three parties had had to make policy “trade offs” along the way, which would be revealed when the coalition announcement was made.
“From our point of view, all parties are getting the major parts of their agenda away. There was of course … large areas of overlap.
“It’s been a constructive process, it’s been a long process, I think quite a quick process but we’ve gone through a lot of detail in order to get to a good place.
“We’re on the home stretch.”