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Key Starts Work Today On Forming His New Government

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
John Key
John Key

NZPA political reporters

Wellington, Nov 10 - John Key has set a tight deadline for forming his new government and he's starting work on it today.

National's leader and soon to be prime minister -- by Monday of next week if he can make it -- is going to meet the leaders of the minor parties he intends bringing into his government so he has 70 votes in Parliament on confidence and supply.

Those votes are crucial for a government to command the confidence of Parliament, and with 70 he will have an overwhelming majority over the 52 votes of Labour and the Greens.

Mr Key will meet today with Rodney Hide, leader of the ACT Party which now has five MPs. ACT is already committed to supporting National and the agreement was formalised during the campaign.

They will talk about ministerial positions for ACT and the extent of its responsibilities within a coalition or support agreement, although Mr Hide says that isn't his main concern.

"The number one thing is to form a stable and secure government and to give the country some certainty and sense of direction," he said yesterday.

The ACT leader says his party isn't going into the negotiations with any bottom lines, and reaching agreement isn't expected to be difficult.

Mr Key is also going to meet Peter Dunne today. The United Future leader committed himself to supporting National before the election and he doesn't have any colleagues to consult because he is UF's only MP.

Then there is the Maori Party, with its five MPs.

Mr Key doesn't need them for a majority but he wants to bring them into his "inclusive" government.

Whether the Maori Party MPs get any portfolio responsibilities will depend on the negotiations, Mr Key said.

The reason he is moving fast and wants to be sworn in by Monday next week is so he could leave for Peru, where the Apec summit meeting is being held the following day.

Mr Key said he expects the Apec summit, where the leaders of all the world's major economies will meet, is going to turn into an economic summit.

Also on Mr Key's immediate agenda is a briefing from the Reserve Bank and the Treasury, probably in the middle of the week, on the deteriorating economy.

"We see the economy as front and centre stage of the issues we face," he said.

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