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New Zealand First board meeting on Monday

New Zealand First board meeting on Monday

Almost three weeks after New Zealand's general election, the country is waiting for an anonymous, unelected board of individuals belonging to a minor party to make a decision on who forms the next government.

Winston Peters, leader of the party holding the balance of power, has said the New Zealand First board - membership of which he will not reveal - will have the final say on which of the major parties he will go into coalition with.

Mr Peters had originally set yesterday as a deadline for a decision, before pushing that date back due to the "logistics" of getting his board together for a meeting.

Mr Peters wouldn't give a precise date or time for a public announcement of his decision, and said it would be as soon as possible after the board met.

The Greens are essential to a centre-left government because Labour and NZ First don't have enough seats between them for a majority, but they've played no part in the negotiations.

At one stage it looked highly likely the New Zealand First board would meet in Wellington tomorrow, but that has now been ruled out, with the latest reports it will take place on Monday.

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If we all talked and told, then they would be too afraid to do it, I think. And Harvey goes for young, because that's more vulnerable, you know.

He expected constant communication between his party and National and Labour through phone and text, but there were no more face-to-face meetings planned.

Kingmaker Winston Peters emerged from his party's caucus meeting on Friday morning to announce the country was a step closer to a decision being made.

Asked how long the meeting could last for, Mr Peters replied, "They're booked in for the night if we have to".

This does not mean NZ First will have an announcement ready on Monday, however.

"New Zealand First values transparency but we also value an individual's privacy especially when they volunteer their services".

"Obviously they [NZ First] have got to chew the fat amongst themselves and see which way they are going to go ... we respect that".


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