National outlines preferred political allies

By Heta Gardiner

Election Day will be held on September 23. Prime Minister Bill English made the announcement this afternoon. This is the first time since 2005 that the National Party will be going into an election without John Key. However the new Prime Minister wasted no time in outlining National's coalition choices.

“I have ruled out working with a Labour or Greens combination.”

He says he'd prefer the current coalition partners.

“I would like to reiterate that I would like to continue working with our partners in government the Act Party, United Future and the Māori Party.”

And what about New Zealand First.

“It is unlikely we would work with Winston Peters, but if necessary we may reassess that position.”

But the Māori Party sits firmly in the Prime Minister's good books. 

Māori party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says, “That isn't a surprise because we have worked well with National for over nine years.”

Today, the Prime Minister had a dig at the Labour-Green Party state of the nation addresses from last week.

“I won't be delivering a state of the nation speech based on good vibes. It will be about policy.”

This is only the beginning.