New Zealand First leader and possible kingmaker Winston Peters yesterday set out the priority areas he wants addressed in any post- election coalition negotiations.
And he defended his party's position of not giving a preferred party ahead of the election, indicating it would reduce his chances of getting the best deal.
"Anyone going into coalition negotiations without a total commitment to address the public concerns is not there to negotiate for the people but for their own political preferment and office," he said in a prepared speech in Porirua.
Mr Peters said the public was most concerned about export growth, savings, foreign ownership of housing and land, immigration levels, poverty, and employment.
"If one has regard to public concern on issues just stated then coalition negotiations become a critical event.
"How could one possibly make a preferred choice now unless they do not intend to defend the people's interests in these negotiations."
He did not make any of them bottom lines and he criticised both National's tax cuts and Labour's capital gains tax.
He said National was campaigning on "virtual tax cuts" and the surplus from which National's tax cuts would be funded in 2017 was "vanishing like a mirage in the desert" because of the fall in dairy and log prices.
In Palmerston North yesterday Prime Minister John Key said "bottom lines" were not practical in the reality of post-election negotiations.
"It is just not practically possible for parties to say 'this is my bottom line'," he told reporters.
"In principle it might be a nice idea but if you are so resolute that you are sticking to that, then ultimately you have to have another election," he said.
Where they stand
National No bottom lines.
Labour Keeping Finance Portfolio. No ministers from either Internet Mana or the Maori Party.
Greens No bottom lines.
New Zealand First Royal Commission of Inquiry into "dirty politics". Not joining a coalition that includes "race-based" parties.
Maori Party No bottom lines.
Internet Mana Not supporting National.
Act Not supporting Labour.
Conservatives Binding referendums.