National leader Judith Collins has been forced to rule out working with New Zealand First again after former leader Simon Bridges put it back on the table.
After ruling out working with New Zealand First when he was National leader, Bridges reopened the prospect during a foreign affairs debate in Wellington on Thursday night.
Bridges, sitting between New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabutaeu and ACT leader David Seymour, said, “Can I just make the peace between my two Cabinet colleagues in the next Government?”
It was a joke,
Tabuteau noted National’s change in position, “Oh, you will do a deal?”
“Oh, no, no sorry,” Bridges replied, bumping his head with his palm.
Bridges said he’d be making a “quick call” to Collins to let her know what he said. But he didn’t make that call – Newshub told Collins on Friday.
She laughed when asked if working with New Zealand First is back on the table.
“I think Fletcher’s probably signing up for the National Party, I think that’s what Simon’s meaning,” she said. “I think Simon was pulling your leg… we’re allowed to have jokes in the National Party.”
Collins confirmed, “There is no wish at all to deal with New Zealand First.”
What is significant is there are no more caucus meetings between now and the election. It was caucus that decided to rule out any potential post-election deal with NZ First. While it was always minisculely unlikely to be changed, it now can’t be.
This means that a vote for NZ First is a vote for Labour and the Greens to be in Government again.
To make it simple, here’s how it works:
- Vote National: National-led Government
- Vote ACT: National-led Government
- Vote Labour: Labour-led Government
- Vote Greens: Labour-led Government
- Vote NZ First: Labour-led Government