ANALYSIS: Newshub understands that National leader Christopher Luxon wants all of the coalition negotiations to take place in Auckland.
He wants to essentially control the coverage of coalition talks, and the best way to do that is to hold them in a city without a political press gallery.
As has become clear since the general election, Luxon doesn’t like to talk extensively about how the discussions are going. Luxon wants to do this like a corporate business deal rather than allowing some scrutiny of who he’s meeting with.
Luxon views previous coalition talks as political theatre when in reality the coverage actually provides good insight into what the relevant parties want our country to look like.
These are the people who will lead our country. While the meetings have always been in private, the public should at least know who is part of the talks, how often they are taking place and for how long.
For example, New Zealanders deserve to know if New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and ACT leader David Seymour are meeting if they intend to be in the same Government. Is the freeze starting to thaw?
I was there during the 2017 coalition negotiations, so this is not my first rodeo. By the end of those talks, we knew New Zealand First was meeting more frequently with Labour – that was a sign.
But, currently, Luxon is wanting to leave the public in the dark and Kiwis just have to wait.
Lloyd Burr is a Newshub political reporter.