New Zealand Labour leader
The small nationalist party has been left holding the balance of power following Saturday’s indecisive election.
The ruling National Party won the most seats, but failed to secure enough to form government, leaving NZ First leader Winston Peters kingmaker.
While Labour trails the National Party by around 10 points, under the country’s German-style proportional representation it could still form government if it goes into coalition with the Green Party and NZ First.
Prime Minister Bill English began courting Peters on election night.
“My plan is to make some calls later in the week, over the next few days,” Adern told reporters on Monday.
“My expectation is that we will have a team that will speak one on one, as team to team.”
“We’ll be having a caucus discussion tomorrow and we will take it from there.”
Ardern hasn’t had any direct contact with Peters since the election, and earlier on Monday English said he hadn’t either.
English says he expects to speak to Peters either on Wednesday in Wellington or earlier by phone.
Nevertheless, he was “quite happy with the progress that has been made”.
“Clearly Mr Peters has said he is not going to rush it so that’s how it is flowing,” Mr English said.
As for Peters, he went fishing on Sunday and said it was important not to rush things.
He won’t give anything away about his negotiating position.
“Negotiating is about getting all you possibly can for the people who voted for you, and that means you’ve got to be smart, and clever, and determined and resolute – and the last thing you do is start playing your cards before you get to the table.”