National leader Judith Collins said Act leader David Seymour was a principled person and his Act Party would be the best partner for National in government.

"Everyone understands that Mr Seymour in particular is very important to us because he is someone who has shown principle when he is in Parliament," Collins told reporters in Onehunga today.

"And I think you'll understand that we prefer people who do actually go to Parliament for a reason and it needs to be a principled reason."

She said it was not an endorsement of Act's policies.


It was an endorsement of the fact that National could work with Act, as it had done with other parties, including the Māori Party and even the Greens on some policies.

David Seymour speaking in Parliament - with National bench mate Nicola Willis. Photo / Mark Mitchell
David Seymour speaking in Parliament - with National bench mate Nicola Willis. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The National caucus in February this year ruled out working with New Zealand First – Winston Peters' party which held the balance of power last election and chose Labour for a partner in Government over the larger National Party.

Collins did not believe it would be in Parliament after the September 19 election.

"The issue is there is no point wanting to work with parties that aren't going to be represented in Parliament.

"Our caucus has made it very clear they do not want to work with New Zealand First and my view is I don't think New Zealand First is going to survive this election."

Act has been doing consistently well in most polls and if translated to votes, would see Act leader and Epsom MP David Seymour joined by about four others.

National has supported Seymour as the local MP and sought only the party vote in Epsom.

Collins said that position remained but she saw no need to endorse with symbolic gestures such as cup of tea – as former National prime minister John Key had with former Act leader John Banks in 2011.


"I don't think I need to openly endorse Act in Epsom because everyone knows that I think David Seymour is an excellent local MP.

"I don't need to do anything else. I don't need to have little cups of tea or anything because everybody knows that David Seymour and I work very well together.

She said National would be asking Epsom voters for the party vote but would be happy if they gave their first tick to Seymour.

"I believe a National-led government is going to best served as Act as our partner and I am very happy to say that National would like to have David Seymour as the local electorate MP in Epsom."

National finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith is National's Epsom candidate and will continue to seek only the party vote.

Seymour was the only party opposed to the first phase of gun law reform after the Christchurch mosques massacres and is now considered the party of gun enthusiasts.


He also sponsored a bill which will see euthanasia legalised if it passes in a referendum at the election.

Seymour has held the Epsom seat and been Act's sole MP since 2014.

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