If Jacinda Ardern is in a position to form a coalition Government, much of the negotiation will centre around which portfolios Labour's partner party should have to best advance its policies.

Finance is off the table - like the delay in the tax working group's recommendation, that is a non-negotiable item. Grant Robertson would be Finance Minister.

A Labour-led coalition is unlikely to feature both the Greens and New Zealand First in the same Cabinet.

Greens leader James Shaw could have a portfolio created giving Government a role in promoting green technologies, as well as having delegations in finance, climate change and primary industries, the latter overseeing animal welfare.

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Likewise there is nothing preventing a new portfolio being created such as Public Transport to give the Greens ministers responsibility for some transport but not all of it. Julie Anne Genter could take that job and the associate health role recently filled by Peter Dunne dealing with medicinal cannabis.

The No 2 on the Greens party list, Marama Davidson, could use the role as Minister for Children to concentrate on child poverty issues.

Eugenie Sage could get Conservation, which would be a prize portfolio for the Greens.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has consistently refused to say whether he would like another stint at Foreign Minister, having served in the role in the last Labour-led Government. But that role could also be filled by former Labour MP Shane Jones. In that case Labour would want to put one of its own senior MPs in the roles of defence and trade such as Phil Twyford or Andrew Little.

Peters would be Deputy Prime Minister in a coalition with Labour but it is hard to see James Shaw, in his first term as an MP, getting the same role in a Labour Greens coalition.

Peters may be content with a portfolio to advance New Zealand's regional focus, as well as keeping an eye on state-owned enterprises such as Kiwi Rail.

New Zealand First Deputy Ron Mark and former deputy Tracey Martin could expect ministerial posts reflecting their strengths.

This proposed Cabinet gives a lot of the heavy lifting in Labour to Twyford, former leader Little and David Parker.

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In this scenario Parker would be one of only three experienced ministers, with Damien O'Connor and Nanaia Mahuta.

Stuart Nash is seen as a business-friendly Labour MP and could be the best person to implement the party's workplace relations policies.

POSSIBLE LABOUR MINISTERS

Jacinda Ardern

- Prime Minister, National Security

Kelvin Davis

- Deputy Prime Minister, Corrections, Maori Development

Grant Robertson

- Finance

Phil Twyford

- Housing, Building and Construction, Transport, Defence

Megan Woods

- Climate Change, Communications, Science and Innovation

Chris Hipkins

- Education

Andrew Little

- Justice, Treaty Negotiations, Trade

Carmel Sepuloni

- Social Development

David Clark

- Health

David Parker

- Attorney General, Economic Development, Environment

Nanaia Mahuta

- Conservation [if Greens not in Govt] Customs [if NZ First not in Govt]

Stuart Nash

- Revenue, Workplace Relations, Energy and Resources

Iain Lees Galloway

- Immigration, ACC

Jenny Salesa

- Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

Kris Faafoi

- Internal Affairs, Police [if NZ First not in Govt]

Damien O'Connor

- Primary Industries

Aupito William Sio

- Pacific Affairs, Associate Foreign Affairs,

Michael Wood

- Local Government, Ethnic Affairs

WITH POSSIBLE GREEN MINISTERS

James Shaw

- Minister for Green Technologies, Associate Finance, Associate Climate Change, Associate Primary Industries

Marama Davidson

- Minister for Children

Julie Anne Genter

- Minister for Public Transport, Associate Health, Food Safety

Eugenie Sage

- Minister of Conservation

OR POSSIBLE NZ FIRST MINISTERS

Winston Peters

- Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development, SOEs, Associate Finance, Racing

Ron Mark

- Minister of Police, Customs, Veteran's Affairs

Tracey Martin

- Seniors, Consumer Affairs, Women's Affairs, Associate Education

Fletcher Tabuteau

- Minister of Commerce

Shane Jones

- Minister of Foreign Affairs