Election 2014

11 Nov 2008

ACT, United Future pledge support for Key government

12:25 pm on 11 November 2008

Incoming Prime Minister John Key has all but done the deals to form a new Government, with both ACT and United Future pledging support on confidence and supply.

Mr Key spent much of Monday afternoon at Parliament behind closed doors in meetings with both support parties.

ACT leader Rodney Hide formally pledged the party's support for National on confidence and supply in the meeting, though a formal agreement has yet to be signed.

Mr Hide looks set to become a minister outside Cabinet, along with another of the party's MPs, but John Key again ruled out Sir Roger Douglas as a minister.

The position of minister outside Cabinet was created in 2005, to give the minister from a minority party room to criticise the government on areas outside his or her portfolio.

John Key said that while he was critical of the arrangement when it was first created, in hindsight he thinks it worked well.

Rodney Hide appeared to have accepted Mr Key's decision ruling out a ministerial position for Sir Roger Douglas, but said the MP would still have a contribution to make.

ACT set out the progress it wanted to see made on law and order, climate change and government expenditure, and Mr Key told reporters after the meeting that the party's position seemed reasonable.

United Future leader Peter Dunne also met Mr Key on Monday afternoon, but was not forthcoming about the substance of their discussions.

"I'm not going to talk about policy gains today. As the Prime Minister-elect has said, we've had a pretty broad and very amicable discussion on a lot of issues...and we'll now proceed to look at putting some of those down in a more written form."

Emissions scheme should be scrapped, says Hide

Earlier, Mr Hide said the first day of talks would involve setting a broad outline for a process.

"I think that process will move very quickly because we do have broad agreement. I think the sticking point may well be the Emissions Trading Scheme and we need to work our way through that."

Rodney Hide said the Emissions Trading Scheme is an unnecessary cost on farmers and small business and should be dumped.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia, who will meet Mr Key along with co-leader Pita Sharples on Tuesday, said Mr Key has told her he is keen to form a relationship with her party.

National has enough seats to govern with the support of ACT and United Future, after its sweeping victory in Saturday's election.