Politics blog November 13

Glenn McConnell
Glenn McConnell

‘Really close’: Luxon flies to Wellington, preparing to announce coalition deal 

National leader Christopher Luxon is on a flight to Wellington tonight, as he prepares to announce the coalition deal that will make him prime minister. 

Speaking at Auckland Airport, Luxon told Stuff he was “really close” to forming a government. 

But he downplayed the timing of tonight’s flight as a “logistics” exercise, suggesting a few small details may need to be ironed out.  
Regardless, he and ACT leader David Seymour both want to be in Wellington on Thursday. And Wellington is where they want to announce the coalition deal. 

He said “progress” had been made even in the past few hours. 

“As soon as we have a final agreement I’ll let you all know, but this is also about managing our flight logistics,” he said. 

One key sticking point in the last few days of negotiating has been the role of deputy prime minister. Nicola Willis said she wasn’t in the running, meaning the role would go to either Seymour or NZ First leader Winston Peters - or perhaps both as co-deputies?

Luxon wouldn’t rule out the co-deputy idea as he headed through Auckland Airport. 

“Those are conversations that I have with the leaders in the rooms,” Luxon told Stuff, when asked if a co-deputy set up was worth contemplating. 

It was a brief conversation with Luxon arriving at the very last moment to board his already delayed flight to Wellington. But despite the delays, the prime minister in waiting was all smiles as he promised negotiations were very near the end. 
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Updated at: 11/24/2023 03:45 AM