Winston finally makes his call - it's Labour

Winston Peters - Image / File

Winston Peters has announced that he will team up with the Labour Party to form a coalition government.

The New Zealand First leader has been in talks with both major parties right up to the last hours discussing policy and negotiating ministerial roles.

Peters says he believes he has made the right decision for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

He said, “We had a choice to make whether it was either with National or Labour for a modified status quo all for change. In our negotiations, both National and Labour were presented with that opportunity.  Working together, co-operating together for New Zealand. That's why in the end we chose a coalition government of NZ First with the NZ Labour Party."

The New Zealand First leader will now go into discussion over possible cabinet positions and future roles of his members within the coalition government.

Winston Peters is no stranger to holding the balance of power.  In 1996 he formed a coalition government with the National Party securing the role of Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer.

That coalition was dissolved in 1998 after Jenny Shipley replaced then Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

Peters went on to join the Labour Party in a coalition agreement in 2005 serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs but stood down as a minister during a police investigation into a funding issue involving his party.

2008 saw Peters and his party exit parliament for a period after failing to reach the five percent threshold.

Support for Peters and his party returned in the 2011 election and New Zealand First won 6.8 percent of the party vote securing eight seats. The 2014 Election saw that support jump again to 8.66 percent gaining 11 seats.

The 2017 Election saw Winston Peters lose his electorate seat in Northland, but his party has returned again to Parliament with 9 seats overall. Peters was re-injected as King- or Queen-maker and has kept media guessing since election night as to which way he would sway.

The first meeting of the next government must be held on November 23, by then we should know who exactly will be the main players in Parliament.