I say why not put that assumption to the test.
Imagine what would happen if the Greens sat down with both NZ First and National and negotiated the best deal they could get.
Then they could take both deals out to their wider membership and ask them to vote on which deal they prefer. They don’t even have to recommend one over the other – just let the members decide.
So what would happen? Well for a start NZ First would have to actually agree to give the Greens some substantive concessions to match National. At the moment they see the Greens as irrelevant and powerless as they have pledged to support Labour no matter how bad the deal. So NZ First won’t even meet or negotiate with the Greens.
If the Greens announced they will also negotiate with National (ie do the same as NZ First), and let their members decide it would absolutely change the dynamic of the negotiations. And there would be no backlash from members as they would get to decide.
The worst case scenario is they get a much enhanced deal with NZ First.
But as unlikely as it is that the members would prefer a deal with National, if the policy and ministerial concessions were so superior to what was on offer from NZ First – well they might.