Newshub Nation’s political panel has said the parties likely to form the next Government shouldn’t hide behind closed doors.
The panel were discussing the transparency of negotiations between National, ACT and possible coalition partner New Zealand First.
National might need the help of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to form a Government, depending on the outcome of the estimated 500,000-plus special votes still to be counted.
It comes as Christopher Luxon wants all coalition negotiations to be held in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland, Newshub understands.
Ben Thomas, a PR consultant and former press secretary for the National Party, said coalition negotiations are a “black box”.
“They always have been for MMP. The tragics among us can sit and wait, and everyone else can get on with their life.”
Thomas said coalition agreements are typically light on detail, especially the one signed by Labour and New Zealand First in 2017.
“We never saw it.”
As the discussion moved towards Winston Peters’ false tweet this week about the 2019 terrorist attacks in Ōtautahi / Christchurch, Thomas said he’s probably appealing to his voter base.
“The worst case scenario is he got back in [to Parliament] on the back of fringe marginal groups – conspiracy theorists.
“And he’s decided he needs to play to that gallery throughout the term. Being a handbrake is not enough.”
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, the commissioning chair of Whānau Ora and recent Te Pāti Māori candidate, said people are probably annoyed waiting for coalition negotiations to be over.
“The whiteboards must be getting really worked over because there’s significant mahi going on in the background – the scenarios, [and] what it might look like.”
Raukawa-Tait said the public wants full disclosure and things to be done in a timely manner.
“I think that’s actually what the public now expect,” she told co-host Simon Shepherd.
“Why shouldn’t they know some of the detail? Why shouldn’t they know where one party had to concede on certain policies?”
She said who knows where negotiations will go.
“It’s taken so long, and of course the longer it goes on people will be talking about the desirability of having Winston there as part of the coalition government.”
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