Greens confirm no deal with National

By Adam Bennett, Amelia Romanos

Green Party co-leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Green Party co-leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The Green Party has confirmed it will not be a formal part of the Government, following discussions with Prime Minister John Key today.

Co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman met with Mr Key and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English this afternoon to discuss what sort of cooperation agreement they might come to.

The parties had a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during the last term, which included home insulation, pest control, and toxic site clean-up programmes.

In the months before the election, the Greens softened their previous position that they could not provide confidence and supply to a National led Government, instead saying it was a possibility but a highly unlikely one.

Earlier today, Mr Key raised the idea of a closer formal relationship, suggesting the prospect of the Greens abstaining on confidence and supply, and saying there ``might be conditions under which they would, but I just want to test that out''.

However, following today's discussions, Mrs Turei said the option had been ruled out for this term.

"We discussed an abstention, because of course he had raised it earlier, in a hypothetical circumstance, but the fact is that Government has been formed, they have a sufficient majority to be Government over the next term, and it was not expected that we would be entering into abstention discussions,'' she said.

"It was good to get that clear from the outset, and I'm glad that he was able to raise that with us.''

Mrs Turei described the meeting as constructive, and that the MOU from the previous term would continue.

"We will be talking early in the next year about how to extend or add new issues to it,'' she said.

"We both agreed that we will be looking at our policy, they'll be looking at theirs and seeing where we can find that common ground, so that work is still to happen.''

- APNZ

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