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'I Want Greens and NZ First in My Govt' - Andrew Little
Source: http://www.newshub.co.nz
Source Date: Thursday, July 13, 2017
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Institution and HR Management
Country: New Zealand
Created: Jul 14, 2017

Andrew Little has revealed publicly for the first time that he wants and needs both the Greens and New Zealand First to form a government.

"We can form a good government and I want the Green Party to be part of that and the New Zealand First party to be part of that," he told Newshub.

"We have a lot of common ground with the Green Party, we have a lot of common ground with New Zealand First. I think our three parties offer New Zealand the best chance of fixing the problems we know New Zealanders want us to fix."

It's a change in language for Mr Little when it comes to working with New Zealand First.

He has always said he'd like to lead a Labour-Greens government, adding Winston Peters in is new.

"I'm totally confident that I am capable of putting together if the numbers fall our way a government that will have a good solid programme of change involving up to three parties," he said.

Mr Peters will not negotiate with any party until the election results are in - so Mr Little appears to be publicly coaxing him.

"Well I'm very confident that Winston wants to change things that at the moment need to be changed that are not changing and won't change under a National led government."

Mr Little even coyly mentioning what he'd done for Mr Peters lately.

"I nominated him to be on the Intelligence and Security Committee that's a reflection of the seniority that he has and the experience that he has. He knows of his standing and how he is seen by the Labour Party."

But that doesn't mean he's leaving the Greens for dust - Mr Little is all but promising to honour the Memorandum of Understanding he signed with the Greens, even though it expires on election night.

"I wouldn't be working closely with another party in opposition to change the government without an expectation that they would be part of a new government," he said.

He needed to clarify that after Green MP Barry Coates spoke out of turn and publicly said the Green Party caucus had discussed refusing to support a Labour-NZ First Government, and even indicated the Greens would be prepared to force another election to stop it.

Greens co-leader James Shaw was forced to go into damage control: "Barry really overstepped the mark and said something that he was not authorised to talk about and of course he's apologised and retracted," Mr Shaw said.

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