Labour could work with New Zealand First if it needed the numbers to form a government, leader Phil Goff says.
Recently, Prime Minister John Key wouldn’t rule out working with NZ First – which failed to win a seat in Parliament at the 2008 election – but said it was a decision for closer to the election.
Speaking on TV3 political show The Nation this morning, Mr Goff said Labour had worked with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters in the past and could again. Mr Peters was Foreign Minister in the last years of the Helen Clark-led government.
“I think if you’ve got an MMP Parliament and you need to get a majority, you’ve got to consider all options.”
Mr Goff said Mr Peters had good support among elderly people.
“I wouldn’t rule Winston out…I think if he ramps up his campaign there’s every chance he’ll be back in Parliament.”
Sounds almost like a plea for people to vote NZ First. That is because Labour has pretty much no hope of forming a Government without NZ First.
Mr Goff was also open to the Maori Party; “…look I’ll work with any party in Parliament if it’s for what I see as being the good of New Zealanders and for the values that we believe in”.
But his MPs (Mallard, Jones etc) have done everything possible to make it impossible for the Maori Party to go with Labour. That means Labour needs to grow its vote by almost 10% to be able to form a Government – that would be a seismic shift.
So they need Winston, to be able to govern. I fully expect these “almost” endorsements of Winston to continue, and in fact for Labour to actively assist NZ First closer to the election.
I note the PM has not yet ruled out NZ First, or more specifically Winston, saying those decisions are made closer to the election. I certainly hope his 2011 policy will be the same as 2008. No Government with Winston as a Minister in it, has ever ended well. Three times it has ended in disaster.
A NZ First without Winston as Leader would be a different issue. But I do not believe Winston is pathologically capable of being trusted.