ACT's Seymour touts Deputy PM qualifications

David Seymour leaving a meeting at Christopher Luxon's house today. Photo: RNZ
David Seymour leaving a meeting at Christopher Luxon's house today. Photo: RNZ
ACT Party leader David Seymour says having the second-largest government party with the second-biggest role makes sense - but it's still up for negotiation.

National, ACT and NZ First remain in negotiations to form a coalition government following the general election on October 14. 

National leader and incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon continued to hold coalition talks in Auckland on Tuesday morning, hosting Seymour at his home.

"I've just been here to visit a constituent in the Epsom electorate, he's having some challenges with a negotiation he's involved in and I found I could actually be quite helpful," Seymour cheerfully related as he emerged from the Luxon household shortly before midday.

Luxon on Monday said all three parties had agreed a policy platform, with ACT and New Zealand First now agreeing on one another's deals with National.

Discussions are now focused on ministerial responsibilities and Cabinet positions in an arrangement likely to a be a three-party coalition.

Seymour said he thought there was "a clear case" for him to have the role of Deputy Prime Minister.

"I think there's a very clear agenda that the ACT Party is the second-largest party in the government and therefore if there's a second role in the government that should go to the second party," he said.

"But having said that, a negotiation's a negotiation, and you never know your luck ... so look I'm not going to try and predetermine it one way or another.

"I've always said that I'm going to serve in whatever role that I need to, to advance the goals of the ACT Party and the government for New Zealanders."

He agreed it was his view ACT should get more ministerial roles than NZ First based on the party vote, saying "that would be the result of proportionality, yes".

"I think proportionality's important to democracy, it's important to the people. Every person out there, their vote counts the same and so should their representation in a government. It's also a fair way to do things and if there's one thing that really resonates as a Kiwi value it's fairness."

The negotiating is likely to be centred on key positions including Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Attorney-General, and the level of influence in crucial portfolios like Finance.

"I think we've made really good progress, obviously we've had to talk a lot about policy but we've also got to have a government formed and that involves people having to do jobs that align with the policy goals of the government as well as their own skills and passions so they can deliver for people," Seymour said.

However, he would not say whether the Attorney-General role, for instance - the government's top lawyer with responsibility over the law and legal matters - was particularly contentious.

"If one portfolio or another is contentious or decided I wouldn't be able to talk about it at this stage," Seymour said.

With the deal looking likely to be a three-party coalition, he was positive about the relationships between the three leaders.

"I would say it's collaborative and constructive, which is how we're going to have to be for the next three years," he said.

"I mean, what I see is that people rise to the challenge and the responsibility and I think we're going to actually work together very well."

He had not met with NZ First leader Winston Peters this morning, he said, but the option was always there, as they were still going through some of the details of each others' policy agreements with National, he said.

"We're in a really good space and we're just dotting 'i's and crossing 't's on things like that.

"I have no plans to meet him but we've met many times over the last week sometimes with an hour's notice so we're always ready to pick up the phone or meet if we need to."

Seymour remained cautious about putting a timeframe on when a deal could be complete.

"I think it's always possible we'll get a deal tomorrow but I feel bad for having said that quite a few times in the last few weeks so I won't say it today," he said.

"As I said last night I closed my account at the TAB after a few losses predicting when this thing ends. I'm not going to bet on it but I think it'll be very soon."