New Zealand without leader as talks continue

The New Zealand election took place on 14 October, with National Party leader Christopher Luxon emerging as the country's next PM.
New Zealand election 

More than six weeks after a national election, New Zealand remains without a government.

This follows complications between the National party, led by incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, and two minor parties whose support Luxon needs to form government.

Talks to secure support have gone on for weeks, halting the passage of new laws and policies.

New Zealand election

Luxon’s National Party won 48 seats in NZ’s one house of Parliament at the election.

This wasn’t a majority of seats in the 122-member Parliament, but was enough to defeat the Labour party, which had been in power since 2017.

This meant National needed to negotiate deals with minor parties to form government.

The ACT and NZ First parties, two conservative groups, committed to working with Luxon following the election.

However, 40 days on from the election, and 19 days after the final results were announced, they still have not reached an agreement.

This is the longest record of days between an election and Parliament sitting since 1996, when it took two months for a deal to be struck.

Why does this matter?

Luxon has not been able to name a ministry, or implement any policies promised at the election.

The Labour Party has stayed in government under a caretaker arrangement, with Chris Hipkins remaining as PM.

They have continued with some government business while negotiations continue, including measures to support humanitarian efforts in Israel and Gaza.

Final negotiations

Agreeing on a Deputy PM is believed to be the last sticking point between each of the parties. This position is expected to be held by either NZ First leader Winston Peters or ACT leader David Seymour. Peters has been Deputy PM twice before, in 1996 and 2017.

A new parliament must be formed by 21 December. Luxon told local media he was hopeful of finalising the agreement today, saying they were “really close” to a deal.

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