New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has defended missing a self-imposed deadline to announce a decision on post-election negotiations, but has promised to make an announcement today. Below is an outline of what he has said since the election.
• August: Peters is asked in an interview with Newsroom about a comment he made in 2005, when he told an audience NZ First would make its post-election decision public by the day the writs are returned, which is three weeks from election day.
He told Newsroom he would take the same approach to this year's election: "There's no reason for it not to be similar thinking at this point...I can tell you that looks exactly sort of the position we will be in."
• On election night: "The writs aren't in until the 12th of October, and nothing can change until that time. We'll have a decision well before that, so we invite you to be patient."
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• September 27: Peters holds a press conference and is asked if intended to stick to the October 12 deadline: "What I said what I'm going to do is precisely what I'm going to do. And you will know that date is Thursday the 12th of October. It so happens that the 7th is a Saturday. But we have got all that in train. We have been around here a long time. We have a rough idea of what we are going to do. Maybe not as highly tuned or intelligent as you people. But we do know what we are going to do."
• October 3: Peters is asked if he thinks he can get negotiations done in the timeframe: "Yeah, I do," he says. In five days, he is asked. "Yes, I do," Peters says.
• Last Wednesday, October 11: Tells reporters he expects discussions with Labour and National to be completed by the night of October 12, but was unable to say when a decision would be made or announced.
"We have got a few logistical things to work out but as soon as possible after [October 12]...it depends on other parties as well. But I can't answer for them."
• Last Thursday, October 12: Peters says scheduled negotiations have wrapped up and the board will now be called in to meet with caucus. He cannot confirm when that will be. Asked if an announcement will be made by the end of the following week at the latest, Peters says, "Yes. Now will you write that on the wall please."
• Yesterday morning: "One hesitates to give a timetable [because] then you are beleaguered by all sorts of criticisms about not keeping your promise."
• Yesterday evening: A press release is issued to say NZ First will "be in a position tomorrow afternoon to make an announcement on the result of negotiations."