Given the tortuous nature of previous post-election coalition negotiations, many have been surprised by Winston Peters' confident assertion that negotiations for the 2017 Government would be completed by today.

In an exclusive arrangement with the Wanganui Chronicle, the makeup of the 40th New Zealand Government can now be revealed here first.

Such is the Chronicle's influence, the major parties quickly recognised the sanity in forming a Grand Coalition, as outlined in last week's Bastia Bulletin. Rather than indulge in petty factional fighting, they've decided to take the Bulletin by the horns and seek strength in unity.

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Accordingly, the Chronicle is pleased to announce that there will indeed be a Grand Coalition Government consisting of New Zealand First, National, Labour ... and the Greens.

Such a broad coalition, they all agreed, would provide stability, versatility, utility and accountability - not to mention flexibility, sustainability, dependability, durability, and all-round capability.

The Act Party - with its one member - will form the Opposition. As such, the cross benches will lose their plurality and henceforth be known only as the cross bench, singular, to be occupied by Epsom MP Mr Seymour.

Naturally, NZ First leader Winston Peters will be the Prime Minister. His coalition partners thought this only fair, given his momentous achievement in getting all of nine NZ First members into Parliament despite just being a humble - albeit slightly overpaid - superannuitant.

Frank Greenall
Frank Greenall

This was coupled with National's long-demonstrated, unwavering commitment to its core principle - namely, that there is no depth to which it is not prepared to stoop to remain in government.

This sterling ethical bottom line was mirrored by Labour's matching desperation to get some sort of presence - anything, really - on the Treasury benches, rather than suffer another three long years in the wilderness. The prospect of this helped focus their minds no end.

The Greens were in a similar boat to Labour. In their case, though, they were prepared to make sacrifices just so a handful could tell their grandchildren that - after decades of never having known anything other than Opposition alienation - they had experienced at least a few moments on the sun-dappled uplands of actual government.

The three coalition partners of NZ First did have to make some trifling concessions, however, in order to further their respective agendas.

Prime Minister Peters will, therefore, also be Minister of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Environment, Trade, Women, Infrastructure, Economic Development, Climate Change, Justice, Courts, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Health, Education ... in fact, minister of all portfolios. Mr Peters sees having a Cabinet of just one as a major efficiency gain, given there will also be several ministers outside Cabinet.

For example, he points to how much easier will be the job of the Honourable Paula Bennett, as Minister outside Cabinet for the Parliamentary Tea Trolley, in only having to deliver a single cup of tea to the Cabinet room at refreshment time.

Similarly, as Minister outside Cabinet for Field Latrines, the Hon Steven Joyce will be in a prime position to further his specialist interests. Said the new PM: "Steven has a special ability to create holes where none previously existed. Now he can hole away to his heart's content for the national good."

Winston Peters will also be the Deputy Prime Minister. When the Chronicle pointed out that simultaneously being both Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister was not constitutionally permissible, Mr Peters clarified that the deputy would, in fact, be the NZ First deputy formerly known as Ron Marks.

He said Mr Marks had agreed to change his name by deed poll to Winston Raymond Peters, as it looked so much tidier on the government's executive register if all the names were the same.