Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon said there are “less than three issues” left to be discussed as a coalition deal nears.
Luxon this afternoon also confirmed that the deal would be announced in Wellington.
After joining meetings over the phone this morning, Luxon arrived at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland once again to meet in-person with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.
He reiterated similar messaging as the past few days, saying that negotiations were nearing the end.
“As I said yesterday and said last night, we’re in the final stages and just want to continue to talk about one or two issues and that’s what we’re going to keep closing up,” he said.
Luxon would not disclose if the coalition would come in the form of a sole three-party deal, or multiple deals between individual parties.
“[I’m] not going to get into the format of how they will take shape, but it’s important regardless that all three parties have built relationships, [and] actually understand where everybody’s coming from so we can be strong and stable in government.”
When asked how an ironed-out three-way coalition would be announced, Luxon confirmed intentions to return to Wellington to unveil the next government.
“I imagine we’ll want to go to Wellington and do a full media event there and a full announcement there,” he said, “That would be the intention, we want to go to Wellington and do the signing ceremony.”
Peters arrived shortly before Luxon this afternoon and could not confirm if subsequent meetings would follow the one he was about to join.
“I can’t say at this point in time,” he said.
He acknowledged that people had been waiting for clear answers on what to expect from the next government, saying the lengthy coalition talks were a “seriously urgent matter, but that’s what it takes”.
Just over an hour later at 1.30pm, Peters left the building and said a deal had not been formed yet, but progress was made.
When asked if any progress was made on the “one or two issues” Luxon said needed discussing, Peters said “I sure hope so”.
Luxon left 30 minutes later at around 2pm, telling media there were a combined “less than three issues” left to discuss with ACT and New Zealand First, however more meetings will be held over the phone this afternoon as they are “very difficult and complex”.
When asked if he expects to be staying in Auckland for the next few days, he said “yes, I think so”.
1News understands ACT and New Zealand First met in-person this morning, respective leaders David Seymour and Winston Peters speaking directly.
ACT said that there are still “a couple of things to iron out” and it was continuing to meet with National and Zealand First.
ACT has worked with National by phone for the last two days.
1News Senior Political Reporter Benedict Collins told Q+A this morning that Luxon and Seymour did not meet yesterday, suggesting most of the remaining loose ends may lie between National and New Zealand First.
“It looks like [National and ACT have] squared away that side, it’s really just National and New Zealand First working on that final part of the deal,” he said.