How to negotiate a Labour-Green-NZ First Government


The negative campaign by National and the way the mainstream media allowed it to play out has had an impact on tonights final result.

However. After specials, Labour + NZ First + Greens can be the majority.

I think the only way this works is with careful thought.

Negotiating a Government requires extreme skill and the way you start will be the way you run.

The Team & Tactics:

Labour needs to understand its relationship with NZ First and the Greens as 2 unique relationships that require significantly different efforts.

With NZ First, the personal relationship with Winston requires something genuine. Labour’s negotiating team needs to be made up of Jacinda, Strategic Advisor Mike Munrow, Chief of Staff Neal Jones and most importantly, Maori Caucus representative, Willie Jackson.

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Jackson as Maori Electorate Campaign boss has brought home all the Maori electorates and increased  Party vote dramatically and Jackson has the personal relationship with Winston that Winston trusts and needs if the relationship between Labour and NZ First is to succeed.

This personal bond matters because NZ First are going to have to acknowledge that they can’t lock the Greens out of power and facilitating that kind of compromise requires the trust of friendship.

National on the other hand don’t have anyone that Winston likes. Or respects.

Labour should offer Winston Treasurer so that the big ideas like investing the Super fund into infrastructure can be implemented.

The relationship with the Greens is more complex. Labour need a lot of Green Policy wins to ensure its poverty stricken base who will have just elected them reap some immediate rewards. Sure Labour Policy is great for middle class children, but Green Policy is what will actually put money back into beneficiaries pockets and end the toxic culture of MSD.

Jacinda’s declaration that climate change is our generations nuclear free requires and needs Green policy, so Greens need to be in Cabinet  if that declaration is to mean anything.


Inclusivity! Inclusivity! Inclusivity! Jacinda is a team builder, her instincts are to bring together and make authoritative decisions based on knowing the strength of voices and opinion that diversity creates. They should aim for a trim Cabinet to avoid attacks by the Right that they are over bloated, but have lots of Ministers outside of Cabinet to create that reach and inclusivity.



A one page memorandum of understanding that encapsulates the consultative and inclusive nature of this new Labour led Government.




  1. Three things: 3% increase GDP per person. Increased living standards right across the board including with in NZDF. And a reduction of a million tons of carbon per year.

    • First transport change must be;

      Bring back all regional rail freight & passenger now!!!

      Government now musr recognise the increasing population is causing a need for regional rail passenger services.

      1/ This will bring down the carbon emissions and take trucks off our regional roads that are falling apart as we speak.
      2/ This is causing us all massive road repair biills.
      3/ And with more trucks on our roads more deaths will occur on our roads under trucks.
      4/ NZTA claims each road death fatality now costs us $3.4 Million each to our economy.

      • Railcars or something similar. Built in NZ. Preferably electric.

        Maybe connected out to ‘industrial estates’, and decent bus services to serve communities – not just workers.

        If you’ve ever been at the head of a queue waiting while a brilliant Linfox driver edges his truck and trailer round a tight corner and his front bumper is scraping-close to yours – yeah. Get them off the roads or build tunnels.

        (Kudos to long-haul drivers. They’re awesome!)

  2. fair enough specific points from an insider Martyn, I just hope Jacinda does not concede before all the specials are in

    enough people have been set up via 30 years of ‘neo lib thought’ and housing as a cash cow, to vote with their “wallets rather than hearts” which is why we have this result

    I thought the ‘rise of the renters’, precariat and student loan debtors, would not happen till 2020, via Jacinda it happened earlier, but not to full enough effect

    something can perhaps be rescued in a parliamentary political sense, via specials, but jeez, there is surely going to be a growth in peoples action in the next three years, and I do not mean some petulant reaction to an election gone wrong

    a practical and organisational resistance is needed, Auckland Action Against Poverty is a leader already, organised squatting in the 30,000 plus empty Auckland dwellings and who knows how many empty state houses needs to be organised, etc. etc. Nats are working, as ever, for the clampdown, the people must fightback–there is no alternative!

  3. All good I absolutely agree . BUT Grant Robertson needs to to be put on the back benches along with his tutu and song revue team and James Shaw needs to be put into Finance and be Winston’s apprentice with Gareth Morgan as a consultant.

  4. I think whatever NZ First decides to do, tonight is a win-win for the left.

    We won tonight, because like James Shaw said, NZ First have more policy in common with the Greens than National on issues like railways, regional development, and so on. The overall “direction of travel” of the electorate has been away from National for years, starting with a one-seat majority in 2014, and continuing with National’s downward trend all year and the smashing out of their support partners (UF and Māori gone and ACT down to 0.5%). NZ First will see both these things, and help us change the government.


    We won tonight, because we forced National to lean on NZ First to keep governing, and most likely forced ACT into opposition. If NZ First go this way, they won’t be able to play the ‘jump to the left and step to the right’ game in 2020, and the way will be clear for a Labour-Greens landslide. If they allow ACT to be part of a National-NZ First government, their entire base will be furious, and they could be spit out of parliament in 2020.

    Sure, it was galling to hear Bill English say National got more than Labour-Greens combined, but it doesn’t change the fact that his existing government coalition is toast, just Clark’s was in 2005, and Bolger’s was in 1996. Look forward to seeing that old lizard try to swallow the dead rat ;-P

    • Lovely strategic thinking ,… as strategy is for the overall and the long term ,- tactics for the immediate , – and to consolidate the overall push towards fulfilling strategic goals.

      I’ve often said ,… the dismantling of neo liberalism is a long term strategic goal,… more often than not ,… a war of attrition. But seeing and taking opportunity when it presents itself ,… keeps morale up and enables us to see the long game.

      The defeat of both National and ACT , is the cornerstone of destroying neo liberalism in New Zealand.

      After that ?… the mopping up of any last remnants within Labour ,…as well as the constant pressure to be applied on National, – and the oblivion of ACT.

      • I’m amazed at the votes David Seymore gets in Epsom. Labour, please don’t stand a candidate in that electorate next time!!! Is that too much to ask?

  5. “How to negotiate a Labour-Green-NZ First Government”

    Martyn, – i have said for years as a former 2002 Greens party member, that a coalition of Labour/Greens/NZ First is the only way to rid this toxic National Party wrecking ball from NZ.

    So I am heartened that others are agreed to “lets do this”

  6. … ” Jacinda is a team builder, her instincts are to bring together and make authoritative decisions based on knowing the strength of voices and opinion that diversity creates ” …

    There’s that , and there’s also much common ground between all three, – despite detractors. I believe we would have a dynamic ,… an incredibly dynamic govt with a Labour led govt / Greens / NZ First.

    Some have said Winston for Treasurer ,… he would be excellent.

    It would be a missed opportunity if NZ First went with National , – and would fail to avert the coming social unrest that is now starting to happen, which has been exacerbated by so many issues raised during this campaign.

    The cat is now out of the bag.

    And this is not 2008 or even 2014 and John Key is no longer there to smooth over the cracks .

    An interesting comment by TIGER MOUNTAIN : … ” enough people have been set up via 30 years of ‘neo lib thought’ and housing as a cash cow, to vote with their “wallets rather than hearts” which is why we have this result ” …

    An observation also showing the glaring public lack of political history and interest in it , … and in having comparisons to neo liberalism which existed pre 1984 ,… as the people who were born in 1984 ,…. are now 33 years old. This is how long this situation has been allowed to drift unchecked. And so the emphasis is on the mad scrabble for personal security via competition for just about all facets of life.

    And this has influenced the current culture of ‘ I’m alright , Jack ‘ thinking…

    Another contentious point is that there is now three quarters of a million new immigrants in this country due to this govt , … a minor point , perhaps ,… but many of them would have voted for the govt that enabled them. National would know this , and view them as an almost guaranteed source of votes… even a third of that number would almost equal the coming special votes yet to be counted. But it would be unfair to say all voted National , or even voted at all.

    However , we live under MMP ,… not FFP ,… and collectively , … a Labour / Green / NZFirst coalition would still have a majority and would legitimize the ‘ mood for change ‘ that this result suggests.

    I do not believe a National govt in coalition with NZ First would be anywhere near enough to enact the sorts of changes needed for that ‘ mood for change’, demonstrated by the election results… and even if it did survive until the next election , the likelihood of a 5th term National govt ,… would be nigh impossible to contemplate.

    A 4th term perhaps , but not a 5th term.

    Peters will see this , … but would he risk his legacy on that ?

    Or would he be more prudent ,… to align his party with Labour / Greens , thus forming a majority , and going with the majority view of his party members and ensuring the longevity of his party into the future ?

    A clue could be had in his election night speech when he said he wanted to form a govt that did not just simply pander to the ‘elites’ but for the best for all of New Zealanders …

    Tenterhooks for all of us in the coming weeks… unfortunately.

    • I agree with you.. The “change” party Labour, NZL and Greens is what we need, and I think those characters can weld it together one way or they other and that it can work and work well. Also this “change party” represents maori well too.

  7. Sadly its not going to happen. It will be National/NZ First govt, Winston will accept their baubles. Labour needs to focus on 2020 and winning an outright majority.

    • BENN – Not in your wildest dreams dream- maker.

      You need your head read as Winston has told all of us 200 at a meeting three weeks ago that NZ First will not go with natiojnal uinder any citrcumstances.

      Why you ask?

      How many years has national tried to kill Winston off politically?

      if you dont know the answer dont bother us again with your crap.

      Winston could be never able to function under a national administration as he would be destroyed by lies made about hiom as soon as he walked into their caucas meeting room.

      He would not last a week.

      As a coalition member in Labour he is where we beilleve he wants to look for stuff to hang on the rotten National Government.

      It will be interesting to see Winston inside when the new labour Lead government get to the Government books, will they find a (real) $11.7 billion hole??????

      It could be that National were hiding lots of secret holes/”deficits” in there .

      So I would not be surprised what labours four independant “economists ” find in the “Government books” when jacinda gives them an oportunity after Labour’s own financial experts go through them first eh?

      Interesting times as is the labour/NZ First pledge to inspect the Pike river mine recovery, that they also find National errors that were made to protect our fallen workers there.

      Lots of blame may sink this toxic National Government as there past finally catches up with them.

      If I was a senior national cabinet minister I to would now be considering my future in Hawaii or some other hiding pace for disgraced National politicians.

      Do you now see the logic BENN?

    • I don’t know why people are so confident with Winston going with National. His caucus and party have spent 9 years trying to get rid of them and his party align with so many friend and bro’s in the Labour party. He hasn’t got one in the National party. The strongest evidence is that Jacinda stated some time ago she COULD have a drink of malt with Winston.

      Winston also put end the myth of trying to get rid of the maori seats by telling media he asked for a referendum on abolishing them and as he stated, there is a difference.

      Listening to Barry Soper’s comments today , Barry stated that those close to Winston believes he will go with Labour.

      • Yep 100% right Bert.

        How could inston ever work with his back being constantly stabbed by the national party killling machine as they tried and failed last time during the election process when they leaked the Super overpayment saga?

        No Winston will sit on a Labore lead coalition to change the country back to where we had a shared commonweath he and us all cherished before 1984.

        Bye bye national – good to see you gone.

        • … ” Bye bye national – good to see you gone ” …

          GAWD ! ,… I will raise my workers shovel to that , CLEANGREEN !!!!

          I been nursing a 33 year long grudge against any and ALL who supported that wrecker and hater ideology of neo liberalism.

          Took me awhile to become politicized, always felt it would sort itself out in the end,… and its only the last 3-4 years I had the time and the interweb to have a library at my fingertips,… and learn I did.

          33 years of being dupes and fools for these laughing vicious hyenas with their snide , arrogant sneering , and their complete lack of concern for children dying , family’s being cast a-thunder because of poverty , … 33 years of being blamed for being poor when they were the very bastards who enabled the very system that caused it.

          I’ve expressed many times how I would like to see retrospective justice being done and treason charges being laid with 25 year prison terms being dolled out,…yet , … what would be even sweeter justice?

          To see their political base crumble , to see measures brought in to prevent them practicing their odious ideology , to see them retreat from NZ shores and NZ no longer being the place considered the most ‘ friendly place in the world to conduct business’… which translated would mean:

          New Zealand is no longer governed by a political system that is funded to legislate in favor of foreign corporations , that uses its population as a cheap source of extraction of its resources and financial profits , – from that of its natural resources to its very infrastructure that the populace of New Zealand live under ,…

          But rather a self contained , democratically governed nation that utilities its own natural resources to the shared benefit of the population and the maintaining of all civic infrastructure necessary to maintain shared wealth and equity across all sectors of that nation.

          In other words , – a kind of nationalism that looks after the immediate and long term health and financial well being of New Zealanders using a Keynesian economic and political system in tandem with sensible balanced trade with other country’s.

          And possibly the best examples we have today in the year 2017 are the Scandinavian country’s of Europe.

          We should be looking intensively at the formulas they use and indeed , – sending delegates of our economists and political analysts on a long term basis to liaise with and study those societal structures and how we could incorporate many of those ideas right here in New Zealand.

          • Wild Katipo,

            Yes the recent public meeting in Gisborne with Winston we 200 folks heard his dream is to have the NZ social/economic system follow the iceland,Singapore, and even the irish systems and this is his lefgacy to make us into a smalll powerhouse economy now a large producer of raw logs and milk powder exporter as he said that will destroy as because we will be kept hostage to overeas buyers of our raw productsm only and will manipulate us.

            He and you are right 100%.

    • The same should be said for Richard Prebble,someone let him out last night,unmediated as well.
      By God I had panic attack.

    • Armstrong’s piece is brilliant in that it is the perfect picture of the sort of cretinous world Armstrong and his ilk inhabit and represent.

      ” …English indulged in “wedge politics” — a politician’s use of polarising issues to drive a wedge between his or her opponent and the voters backing that opponent.

      It isn’t pretty, but can be effective, especially when your opponent hands you those issues — be it a water tax or a capital gains tax — on a plate.

      … the election results are an absolute triumph for National’s leader of barely nine months, pure and simple.”

      Armstrong is triumphant that electing a leader expressing with vision and hope, with an appreciation of the manifold woes of the society and a recipe to try to remedy them, is unimportant. In rugby parlance, we don’t care for open, flowing team play, we want to glory in the eye-gouging in the pile-ups, stomping in the rucks, tackling around the temples and cheating as much as we can.

      When Armstrong leaves this mortal coil the eulogies will no doubt use the word “astute’ somewhere. I wonder if they’ll mention his rank support of dirty play and consequent scorn of decency.

      • Perhap’s a better eulogy would be one of ‘ an embarrassingly servile arselicker dragged out in his wheelchair in his senility to relive his glory days as a mouthpiece for a failing neo liberal sector of fraudulent bullies and liars ‘…

        Despite the fact that he had to have several nurses wipe the dribble from the corner of his mouth and his catheter emptied regularly by the same…

        There ,… not such a glowingly romantic picture of rugged manhood and neo liberal individualism after all,…

        IS IT.

        • Why are Armstrong and Prebble allowed to contribute whilst under the influence of medication as Barry outlined earlier, hell I’m not allowed to drive pissed?

  8. IMO Winston will go with National, even if he pretends to hate them. Historically he has always gone with the largest party afaik. Also English will be able to offer Winston much more than Jacinda because Jacinda will also have to cut a deal with the Greens for policy (much of which directly contradicts NZF). At least ACT is history though.

    I do wonder if TDB will continue to provide oxygen to NZF when they are in government(?).

  9. Another election won by the mainstream media!

    If we get an LGNZF government the first thing they need to do is purge national TV and radio of National Party clarions (you know who), just as National have done during the last 9 years.

    They should also attack the Herald at every opportunity by reminding them of their reporting omissions during the National regime, and calling out their political reporters for who they are- National Party Propagandists.

  10. Goodness! What a lot of chicken counting going on here this morning.

    Absolutely nothing will be known until 7th October when the full results of the election will be known and published.

    Wait and see folks, wait and see…

    • @ JS Bark …your final statement …

      “Wait and see folks, wait and see…”

      With Winston Peters calling the shots, there will be more waiting than seeing I think. He has history. The powerful position he’s in at present excites him.

  11. The Hollow Men. Documentary about Nicky Harger’s book.

    For your Sunday’s viewing pleasure.

    If you think NZ’s above political corruption? Think again.

    If you think you know just how corrupt NZ is? Better multiply that by quite a bit.

    If you believe NZ’s corrupt and you think it’s profoundly worse than your wildest imaginings?

    You’re still a country mile away from what’s really going on here. In God’s own. In Paradise.

    For those of you who think the image of the farmer holding up his placard that reads ” She’s just a pretty communist” or words to that effect, is some base luddite trying to comprehend the greater world from the vantage point of some rain soaked gully? Rememeber this.
    NZ’s likely earned more foreign income from his individual endevours which will feed more money into our economy than any of you in your collective urban working lives.

    Speaking broadly, you will never make sense of NZ politics until you understand the swindle that lies between the NZ farmer and the end consumer.

    You will all continue to fuck about with the minute` while NZ burns down to the water line.

  12. The dance of the seven veils is about to begin.

    But it is just an act. Whatever contortions and pirouettes he makes during this dance Winston Peters will go with the Nats.

    Winston Peters slow reveal serves to hide the fact that, Peters intends to go with the Nats and has fully intended to do so, from the beginning, but has dishonestly with held this fact from the voting public.

    Just like Donald Trump in the US with his anti-Mexican rhetoric, Winston Peters has been opportunistically mining the racist Hobson’s Pledge sentiment of his redneck Pakeha base.
    Peters demand for an objectionable and divisive referendum to abolish the Maori electorates, has been condemned outright by both Labour and the Green parties. Bill English is the only other political leader venal enough to agree to hold such a racist and divisive referendum.

    The only reason Peters wouldn’t state openly that he was going to prop up the Nats, is that New Zealand First still takes votes from disgruntled ex-Labour Party supporters, many who despise National even more than Labour….

    Finally, Winston Peters has said, and made it very clear, that he would not work with a coalition that will put an anti-pollution tax on water, which is one of Labour’s policies. (In the same interview Peters said that he would not work with National, if National included Maori in water rights negotiations. Thanks to Labour’s sectarian determination to drive the Maori Party from parliament, Winston Peter’s last condition for not working with National has been removed)

    Sorry to bring you the bad news Martyn.

    • However, Peters says he would charge exports on bottled water.


      Water belongs to all New Zealanders, “it’s part of our Kiwi heritage”, he said. “We are not going to take water use in this country.”


      Right , so ,…. what we are talking about is while Peters supports a tax / royalty on foreign corporations pirating out water and paying bugger all for it and making large profits in bottled water – whilst threatening our environmentally sensitive areas to do it ,- he goes on to say :


      … ” With modern science and technology, and “town and country” working together, New Zealand’s water quality can be improved , … waterways would be electronically-monitored in real time, Peters said, and to introduce management plans that take town and country equally” …


      So its not as if he is adverse to measures to improving the health of our waterways , – but approaching it from a completely different angle,- ergo , – he admits something has to be done about it.

      Whether that would be effective remains to be seen. Perhaps a tax could be seen as heavy handed.

      However , …


      … ” Irrigation NZ says an average-sized irrigated farm in Canterbury (220ha), would pay $24,000 – $29,000 in tax, at 2c per 1000 litres ” …


      Looks drastic at first ,… but what HASN’T been stated ,… is the amount of profit made after deducting that water tax. And that also after tax rebates .

      And then there is THIS from Peters,… which is TOTALLY out of sinc from the free market neo liberal aspirations of the National party :


      … ” To boost environmental sustainability on the farm, New Zealand First says it will commit to 100 per cent depreciation for farm environmental works done against a farm environment plan ” …


      Which seems awfully a lot like the 1970’s style of farmer subsidy’s we used to accept as a matter of course, also – some smaller farms and NZ owned farms will perhaps not share the same ‘ profit margins’ of larger foreign owned ones, – each farm is different… so therefore taken on merit.

      Which is basically what Labour has said.

      Favoritism ?… not the ‘ level playing field ? ‘ ,… and since when was massive foreign investment EVER been a level playing field for NZ farmers? Or for New Zealanders for that matter , – hence the objections to the TTPA which is what NZ First has maintained regarding ISDS’s…

      So just what is Federated Farmers answer to that?

      Oh ,… and just what also is the status of many National MP’s, – one of which could potentially be a spy from mainland China , – regards their lucrative and close business relations with their counterparts from China ,… and how much does that sway their policy’s in regard to China practicing soft power here on those farms testing ‘ broadband’ satellite technology’s for potential military use far from the NZ public’s eye?

      Do we really want that situation occurring here in light of the USA and North Korea’s bad blood as well ?

      I would say many of these issues are far more readily resolved under Labour / Greens / NZ First than the compromised politically and economically position that National is in.

      That is just a few reasons I suspect NZ First will soften on many of Labours stances and work towards a compromise rather than try to bash their heads against a wall of subtle pecuniary gain currently being undertaken by National and its members.

  13. Although I have been a big critic of Winston First especially. If they must be in government, I would prefer Labour/Winston/Greens government.
    Another positive, Labour has decimated the Maori party, well done. These overhangs are a corruption of democracy.

  14. There appears to be a very high mortality rate for National’s coalition partners.The Moari party paid the price with their association and rightly so,for their coalition support nothing changed, regarding the social and economic conditions of Maori.
    I hope Winston has a real desire to actually have a positive impact on New Zealand society and economy and remembers his experience in a National coalition, their way or on your way.

  15. Jacinda made a stupid move today announcing that she would not entertain a Maori seat referendum.
    Voting is over for another three years so such a statement achieves nothing but does make it harder for NZF to go with Labour.

  16. Friend of mine reckons Winston has fallen foul every time he goes into a coalition, but when Helen Clark made him Minister of Foreign Affairs I seem to recall that everything went I right?
    If so why shouldn’t it happen again?
    Anything to get rid of the National crims and as the Press today expressed it, David Seymour’s parasite party.
    Winston as treasurer or Deputy PM would be OK with me. I think Kelvin would stand aside for Winston’s last stand.
    Anything is preferable to 3 more years of English, Bennett, Joyce, Bridges and rimmer, although he’s irrelevant now.(Watch for the Nat’s loyalty now)

    • Winston worked well as minister of foreign minister, a few minor spats but nothing problematic.
      Yes I think he would be an asset to a Labour coalition government and yes he may well lose support for joining any coalition. Maybe he could refuse to join a coalition and agree on confidence and supply, then take pop shots at the minority National government when amusement dictates.

    • Flitting around the globe on “diplomatic” missions gave Winston a buzz and plenty of opportunity to sample the various expensive fine malts offered to lubricate the occasions and well out of sight to local NZ jurnos.

      He was in paradise but also did a few good deals with his wily wits.

      Feed the man with what he likes.

  17. My worry is that a Labour – NZ First – Greens government may well be a one term government, as it will despite of some policy overlap have a potential of major differences, which can lead to tensions and arguments. The voters would not like that, also not that such a government may only be able to agree on some policy to introduce.

    So, although this is not that appealing, going into opposition for another three years may be the better solution fo r Labour and Greens. Then they may win convincingly in 2020 and have a chance to govern for longer than one term.

  18. I’d like to see some demographics before I agree on your analysis of which Green policies are best to go forward on. At the percentage they got, I’m simply not convinced that ‘poverty stricken base’ really applies to the vote which came in for them. Given that they were whittled down more towards base, I’d assert it would be better to ensure that the policies are ‘Green’ policies given that it was expansion into social justice territory which almost killed them. Given that Jacinda has stamped a very strong brand on child poverty as well, it’s not like this ‘middle class kids’ thing is all that on point. I’d be willing to be that it’s Labour who got more vote from the working class and Green who got the vote of ‘middle class kids’.

  19. I don’t think so Helen Winny wants to leave a legacy and I am sure he doesnt’ want his party to end up like the Maori Party haere ra on ya bike

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