Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Key promises to renew support deals with minor parties

United Future leader Peter Dunne. Photo / Getty Images
United Future leader Peter Dunne. Photo / Getty Images

Prime Minister John Key has committed himself to seek agreements again with all three of his support partners - United Future, Act and the Maori Party - irrespective of whether National needs their votes to govern after the election.

"If we are in a position, come November 26, to get around the table irrelevant of how large our party vote is, we are definitely going to make the phone call to these support parties and sit down and have a discussion with them," he said after the United Future conference in Wellington.

Whether that included ministerial posts would depend on the parties themselves.

National entered a confidence and supply agreement with the Maori Party after the last election even though it already had the numbers with Act and United Future to govern.

"It both balanced the Government and gave us greater options and more stability over time."

National is encouraging its supporters in Peter Dunne's Ohariu Belmont electorate to give Mr Dunne their electorate vote and National their party vote - although Mr Key repeatedly referred to it as "Ohuria".

Mr Dunne took credit for lowering taxes as Revenue Minister in Labour and National Governments he had been part of and for banning synthetic cannabis such as Kronic as Associate Health Minister.

"To use some good old-fashioned rugby parlance, I do not drop the ball and I have an eye for the gap."

United Future is barely above zero in most polls but he said yesterday it would not take much of a shift "with an imploding Labour Party" to pull in two, three or more MPs.

The deal in Ohariu-Belmont is the same as in Epsom, where former National minister John Banks is standing for Act. Audrey Young

- NZ Herald

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