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National leader Christopher Luxon is set to meet Winston Peters this afternoon to discuss ministerial positions, which he expects to be done quite quickly.
Act and NZ First will now be looking at the respective deals National has signed with them. Luxon doesn’t believe there will be major issues through that process.
Despite what he called significant progress, Luxon wouldn’t say whether it was likely a government could be formed by the end of the week.
Luxon told reporters: “We’ve achieved, I think, a significant milestone overnight and that is that we have actually closed down and agreed policy programmes with both Act and also with New Zealand First.
“That’s a major achievement.”
Luxon said he would continue conversations to make sure Act and NZ First could also both sign on to each party’s policy programmes and agendas “that we’ve agreed with them individually”.
Luxon said the negotiations would “kick on” and move to ministerial responsibilities and Cabinet.
”I don’t think that needs to take a long time. We’re going to work very quickly through it as fast as we possibly can.
”There is very good intention from all three party leaders to resolve this as quickly as possible.”
Luxon said the negotiations had included going “through every line item of all three parties’ manifestos” and working through all the policy positions and “the differences and different mechanics for achieving the same or different goals”.
”We’ve done the policy work first and foremost before we’ve had any conversation around Cabinet positions and we’ll now kick that off.”
Luxon said he was “very relieved” to reach this point in the negotiations.
”I really do appreciate everybody’s patience with the process, but I do believe it will actually make for a much stronger government.”
Earlier, National Party deputy leader Nicola Willis has reaffirmed the incoming Government will deliver a mini-Budget before Christmas but has stressed the emphasis on the word “mini”.