NZ could face Labour-Green government

Both National and Labour have met for talks with the Mr Peters as they try to form the next Government

Both National and Labour have met for talks with the Mr Peters as they try to form the next Government

New Zealand opposition Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday a final election vote tally put her party in a strengthened position as it negotiates to form a government with the nationalist New Zealand First Party.

Winston Peters says he feels vindicated by waiting for the special vote count which has seen National drop two seats while Labour and the Greens picked up a seat each.

"The results released today push us closer towards the change of government that so many New Zealanders want", he said.

'We will continue our negotiations in earnest with potential support parties beginning this weekend, ' Ardern told reporters in Auckland.

The center-right National Party, led by Prime Minister Bill English, has governed since 2008 in a minority government with confidence and supply from the Maori, ACT and United Future parties.

Labour also gained a seat from the special votes, with National losing two.

The veteran politician is holding the balance of power for a third time, having previously joined coalitions led by both National and Labour.

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Ghahraman, 8th on the Green Party list, has become the country's first refugee MP. The Green Party, at 6.3percent, lost nearly five percentage points on its 2014 tally following a disastrous start to its campaign when co-leader Metiria Turei resigned over self-confessed benefit and electoral system rorts.

61 seats are required for a majority in the NZ parliament and while the results aren't made official until 12 Oct at least the parties know where/how they stand now.

"I don't think it weakens it significantly at all", he said, referring to National's negotiating position.

Coalitions are nothing new for National, which has run a minority government since 2008.

Ardern has said Labour and NZ First have many "shared values" which include exploring a manned re-entry of the Pike river mine, increasing the minimum wage, improving the education system, and a desire to address the housing crisis.

He has opened preliminary coalition talks with both parties in recent days and given himself a deadline of next Thursday to make a decision. He wants to drastically reduce immigration and stop foreigners from buying farms.

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