Which way will Winston go? Even National and Labour are in the dark

by Sarah Robson / 19 October, 2017

Winston Peters has said there would be a decision this afternoon about which way he'll go. Photo / RNZ

Winston Peters is set to announce whether New Zealand First will support National or Labour to lead the next government, but it's not clear whether he'll tell either main party beforehand.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is set to announce whether his party will support National or Labour to lead the next government.

National's leader Bill English says he's had "no indication" of what Winston Peters will announce and it's understood Labour is in a similar position.

After an all-day caucus meeting at Parliament yesterday Mr Peters said his party would be in a position to make an announcement this afternoon on the result of the post-election coalition negotiations.

In a statement, he said he had advised the leaders of National and Labour of the timing of the announcement.

He said he had advised them of "other matters", but was not specific about what they were.

Jacinda Ardern, Winston Peters and Bill English. Photo / RNZ.

Last night, National Party leader Bill English said his party's caucus and board would be briefed this morning on the negotiations to date.

He said they did not yet have a final deal with New Zealand First that was ready to ratify and there could be further negotiations with New Zealand First this morning.

"We have no indication from Mr Peters about what he's announcing," Mr English said.

Asked what Mr Peters had told him about the announcement, Mr English said: "Nothing that he hasn't said publicly."

It's understood Labour is in a similar position and its executive council has not yet been convened to sign off any potential final deal with New Zealand First.

It is understood ministerial positions were discussed at one-on-one talks Mr Peters held with both Mr English and Ms Ardern on Tuesday night.

It was still not clear how much notice National or Labour would get prior to the announcement about Mr Peters' decision.

The Greens were meanwhile waiting to see if New Zealand First would go with Labour before convening its 150-strong Special General Meeting so as not to risk the contents of their deal with Labour being leaked.

This article was originally published by RNZ.

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