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Election 2020: Will they, won’t they? Greens insist ‘negotiations’ still on with Labour

ROBERT KITCHIN/STUFF

Greens co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw briefly answer the media’s questions after they leave the talks with Labour.

The Green Party says it’s still in “negotiations” about what role it might play in the next Government with Labour, but is staying mum about what’s actually on the table.

The party has been in talks with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about the shape of next government since Saturday’s election, although Labour’s outright majority has left the Greens with little bargaining power.

Greens co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson on Wednesday said the day’s round of talks had been “fruitful” – but not much more than that.

“What was on the table was Krispies and a cup of tea and coffee,” Davidson said.

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The Green Party’s members arrive at Parliament for their first days a caucus.

Robert Kitchin/Stuff

The Green Party’s members arrive at Parliament for their first days a caucus.

She said the talks would resume on Tuesday.

Shaw was adamant that despite now describing the talks as a discussion – and his party’s weak hand – it was still a “negotiation”.

“At the moment, we’re just talking about the nature of a possible agreement.”

The Greens were widely expected to not be part of any formal coalition with Labour, but questions have been raised about whether it may end up with some minor roles in the government.

Shaw and Davidson on Wednesday wouldn’t say if a coalition had been ruled out, or whether their party would be seeking any ministerial roles.

Ardern has said negotiations with the Greens would finish next week, and that she would be announcing ministerial posts the week after.

She said a meeting earlier in the week “was not negotiations” but a general conversation about the election result and the process going forward. Ardern has frequently described the meetings as talks or discussions.

However, she has said she would like to build a “consensus” arrangement.

Her remarks suggested this arrangement could be very loose, potentially not involving ministerial positions.

“I’m interested in areas of co-operation, where we can use the strengths that exist in [the Green Party’s] team for the benefit of the Government and all New Zealanders,” Ardern told reporters on Tuesday.

In the previous term of Parliament, the Green Party was a “confidence and supply” partner supporting the Government and holding ministerial posts, but not sitting at the Cabinet table.

Stuff

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